Last week I posted about lifestyle changes in an attempt to reduce belly fat (click here for a refresher) and I promised this week to show you a few of my favourite exercises for strengthening and toning your abs. These exercises can be done anywhere and all you will need to complete these exercises properly is a deflated rubber ball.
The first exercise is called Around the World. Take the slightly deflated rubber ball and place it under your shoulder blades, where your bra strap sits, bend your knees with your sit bones heavy into the floor and lie back onto the ball. Interlock your fingers behind your head and engaging your upper abdominals, lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor ensuring you are not pulling on your neck.
At the top, bring your body around to the right, in a half circle, as you lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat, circling the other way. Do 5-8 repetitions each side then switch to circling as you come up and lowering straight down. Between each set take a moment to stretch while lying back on the ball, opening up your arms and allowing your head to rest on the mat.
The second exercise is a take on a Bicycle Crunch. Place the deflated ball underneath your shin, with your leg extended and your supporting leg bent with the foot placed flat on the floor. Lift your head, neck and shoulders up off the mat as you roll the ball to your hips by bending your knee. As you do this, twist your ribcage towards the knee, ensuring that your chin and breastbone remain in line and your supporting leg does not move. Finish the exercise by extending the leg straight and rolling your body back onto the mat. Do 8-12 repetitions and then repeat on the other side, taking a moment to stretch as you did in the Around the Worlds.
Add these exercises into the abdominal exercises you already do to help build strength and muscle tone to your midsection.