By David Nadeau
During these unprecedented and difficult times, it can be hard to find ways to stay in decent shape. With gym closures, closed tracks, and everything else that comes with quarantine, it’s a challenge to stay motivated. However, there are easy ways to keep from getting out of shape in the comfort of your home. One of the most important muscles is in your core. More specifically, your abdominal muscles. Core workouts help burn fat and prevent weight gain.
Your core is also very important because it gives you balance and stability throughout you lower back & hips and reduces your chances of a mid-body injury. As a junior (going to senior in the fall) in college, it is very important to me that I do not get out of shape because I want to look at least in decent shape by the start of the Fall semester. So, with less access to usual sports workouts, which would normally include playing basketball, I have adopted a 10-minute core workout which is relatively easy, but puts your abdominal muscles under a great amount of tension. I stumbled upon this workout while scrolling through Instagram when I saw a post from a classmate and certified personal trainer. She put together this routine of five basic ab stretches that if done for a certain amount of time, is a core workout. I have been practicing this workout daily for the past seven weeks and have definitely seen results.
In order to properly practice the workout, one must have the materials needed and an ample amount of space. First, be sure to have a yoga mat or athletic mat to keep your elbows, hands, knees, and feet comfortable. Also, you must have at least 10 feet of space around you, as you do not want to be hitting objects with your body while practicing the exercises.
The stretches themselves are as follows, take a 30 second break between each pose:
- Forearm Plank- 30 seconds- 2 reps
- Hold a push-up-like position on the mat, with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes
- Left Side Plank- 30 seconds- 2 reps
- begin in a strong and well-aligned plank pose. Then roll the body to the left, lifting the left arm overhead. Once balanced, stack the feet at the arches.
- Right Side Plank- 30 Seconds- 2 reps
- begin in a strong and well-aligned plank pose. Then roll the body to the right, lifting the right arm overhead. Once balanced, stack the feet at the arches.
- Leg Raises- 30 Seconds
- Lay flat on your back and begin to raise your legs synchronically with both of them touching each other. You should begin to feel tension in your lower abdominals. Keep your lower back flat on the floor.
- Flutter Kicks- 30 seconds
- Lay flat on your back and begin to raise your legs one at a time in a flutter kick motion. You should feel even greater tension in your lower abdominals.
- Leg Raised Crunches- 30 seconds
- Lay on your back with your knees pointed up and your lower legs pointed outward. Begin to perform half sit-ups.
- Forearm Plank- 30 Seconds
- Finish with the original stretch in order to make the workout 10 minutes.
Doing all of these poses/stretches with break time included should come out to a 10-minute workout. This workout will tone your abdominal muscles while burning some belly fat and calories. Remember to cool down after your workout, or use this workout in conjunction with cardio exercises to see even faster results.