My favourite ab exercises

Home workouts are fast becoming my favourite way to exercise. The weather outside at the moment, is Arctic! Thinking about leaving to go to the gym or to join in a gym class used to excite me. Now? I couldn’t think of anything worse. It’s too cold, gym clothes aren’t particularly warm and I just don’t want to be shivering all the way there and back.

Just because I don’t want to leave the house, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to exercise. As I always say, it’s become as normal to me as washing my hair. You know when you haven’t washed your hair in about 3 days and you know you really should do it as soon as possible? That’s how I feel when I don’t exercise. It starts to niggle away at me and I actually start to feel very anxious.

I’m very body conscious. Not in the sense that I’m self conscious of my body but more in terms of being aware of what my body looks and feels like. It might sound strange but I can really see and feel the effects of a bad week of eating and no exercise on my body. My two favourite areas to train (like all girls) are my legs and abs. So, today I have put together a list of my favourite ab exercises for you to try at home. Beware, I don’t know the proper names for all of these exercises so I have named them as best as I can.

Lying leg drops with crunch
Keeping your lower back pressed to the floor is key to getting the most out of this exercise – and most of the other exercises I will mention. When you adopt and maintain this form, you target your lower abs, which is the main area that we all want to see those results in for a flatter stomach. With this exercise, you want to lie down on the floor and bring both your legs straight up above you. Then you want to crunch up (try and touch your toes with both hands) and then drop both your legs and arms at the same time. Legs go straight down (as far as you can go without lifting that lower back off the ground) and your arms go straight back behind your head. Your feet should never touch the floor. You can add a weight to make it more difficult if this is easy for you and remember to do everything in slow and controlled motions.

Dumbbell reverse crunch with leg extension
Once again, lower back stays firmly to the floor. You want to bring your knees into your chest and at the same time, you want to bring your dumbell in and over your head to meet your knees. Then you reverse this motion and you bring the dumbbell back over your head and extend your legs into a straight position above the floor. Again, don’t let those feet touch the floor.

Full sit-up
Again, using a weight you want to do a normal sit up, but come all the way up and lift the weight over your head before coming back down. Make sure you keep you feet on the floor and don’t be tempted to use any other muscle group to help get you up. You should only be using your core.

Single leg raises with crunch
This is definitely not the name of this exercise! Essentially, you start out on your back and you lift one leg up to the middle (straight up above your hips) whilst keeping the other leg flat on the floor. At the same time, you want to lift the opposite arm so that it meets your leg in the middle.

Plank with dumbell
Really simple exercise but quite difficult to do for a long period of time. You get into a plank position and you move the dumbell from side to side. You can either roll it or pick it up and place it on the opposite side – it’s up to you! Just be sure to keep your form nice and strong and not to raise your hips while you do it.

Plank walk-outs
Again, in a plank position you want to walk your legs out and then in. So left leg comes out to the side, then the right leg. Then the left leg comes back in followed by the right leg. Same as before, keep your hips nice and low to get the most out of this exercise. You can also jump your legs in and out if you want to make it more difficult.

I don’t have really heavy weights at home, so I use a big water bottle instead. Just improvise with what you have and tailor the exercises to suit your level and ability.

Hope you enjoyed!