I have another abdominal exercise for you for the Home Exercise of the Week! Your core muscles are very important for maintaining a healthy posture and back health as well as providing stability and strength to all other exercises and every day activities. So please make sure you are not neglecting your core and to help you with that I would like to show you the Side to Side Leg Raise.
Side to Side Leg Raises target your lower abdominals and your obliques. Proper form is key as with any exercise but with this one especially since improper form could lead to strain on your lower back.
Let’s take a look at the key points for proper Side to Side Leg Raise execution:
lay flat on the floor with your arms extended out to your sides (this will stabilize you and keep you from rolling over) and legs together straight up in the air
pull your belly button in towards your spine which will activate your abdominals and allow them to do more of the work instead of your back
with legs together, lower them to the side until they are almost touching the floor
keeping your abs contracted, raise back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side
keep your head down as much as you can throughout the movement
Add the Side to Side Leg Raise to a superset or to your ab routine with a rep range of 12 to 20 reps to start. If you find keeping your legs straight to be extremely challenging then you can bend your legs at the knees giving you a shorter lever which in turn will make the exercise easier. On the flip side, if you find this not challenging enough then try holding a dumbbell between your feet!
It’s ab burning time for this weeks Home Exercise of the Week! The Reverse Crunch is a great exercise to add in to your ab routine and it’s not a complicated move so it’s easier to get the hang of. Now just because it’s an easier move doesn’t mean that it will be easier on your abs. You will feel this one!
The Reverse Crunch focuses on your rectus abdominus and you will feel this in your lower abdominals. The move is subtle but very effective.
Let’s look at the key points to doing the Reverse Crunch properly.
lay face up on a mat keeping your head down and arms resting at your sides throughout the crunch
raise your feet up and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle – this is the starting position
contract your abs to slowly bring your knees towards your chest and raise your hips off the floor
hold the contraction for a second or two then lower your hips to the starting postition
keep a slow pace and use your abs to lift your hips instead of swinging your legs and causing momentum which will take the focus away from the abs you are trying to work
So there you have the Reverse Crunch. Perform 1 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions in your ab routine or add a set of 15 to 20 repetitions to a superset of compound exercises to save time!