My boyfriend calls me “concrete belly” – which is flattering, except he punches me in the stomach to test my strength! Well I’ve been called worse I suppose.
I generally thank yoga and many years of dance for a strong core, but you too can have a “concrete belly” with the right combination of exercises – and it only takes 45 minutes per week. Here’s my go-to plan for strong abs, set to work all of your abdominal muscles:
Split: 3 days/week, 15 min/day
You will need: Medicine ball, 10 lb dumbbell, mat or towel
Circuit: Perform all 7 exercises sequentially, resting a maximum of 30 seconds in between.
- 25 crunches, facing forward. Do not let your shoulders touch the floor during the set
- 30 Medicine ball twists: in the same position as your crunch, hold a medicine ball with both hands and bring to your right side – touching the ball to the floor; now bring to the left side – that’s 1 complete rep (do 30 total)
- Side plank lifts (12 each side): Lying sideways on the mat, leave both feet and your lower hand on the mat, raise hips contracting sides of abs (obliques) SEE IMAGE BELOW
- 20 “V-ups”: Start lying flat on back, with feet on floor. Contract middle abs and raise shoulders off the floor, pause, then extend legs fully, pause. Return legs, then return shoulders to floor. SEE IMAGE BELOW
- 15 weighted sit ups: Lying on mat with feet flat to floor, hold a 10 lb dumbbell close to your chest and perform 15 full sit ups.
- 25 Reverse crunches: Lying on the mat, raise legs with feet perpendicular to the ceiling with crossed legs. Contract middle abs (rectus abdominis) and bring knees in towards the chest – hold one second and release.
- Plank hold for 60 seconds: Lie facing the floor, then position yourself on forearms and toes. Contract abs and hold for 60 seconds. SEE IMAGE BELOW