Exercises for a strong core and flat abs

By Kay Wagner, LMP, CPT | Oct 03, 2012

Have you noticed the lovely dancers’ posture on “Dancing with the Stars”? Strengthening your core is the only way to look and feel like that!

And with fall yard work, it’s the best way to prevent backaches. Practice the Core Contraction and Powerhouse Plus strengtheners in your car, while waiting in line or while sitting at your desk.

Try it in front of a mirror!

Core Contraction

Lengthen your spine and imagine zipping up a pair of tight jeans to contract abs and pelvic muscles.

Now pull your navel in toward your spine, and lift it up toward your heart.

Hold this for five breaths, while breathing fully into side ribs, chest and back. With each exhale, pull navel further in and up. Keep chest lifted, shoulders wide. Repeat 5-10 times. Fire your ab muscles with Core Contraction three times per day with 5-10 repetitions.

Strengthening your core gives you a greater sense of power in your life. A strong pelvic/abdominal core helps low back problems, stress incontinence and sciatica.

Coordinating breathing with holding pelvic/abdominal muscles trains your body to maintain good posture and abdominal strength while still breathing fully. A winning combination!

Powerhouse Plus

More ways to tone and trim the tummy:

Twist it. Start with Core Contraction. Now widen shoulders and slide shoulder blades down toward your waistline. Place your hands on your shoulders, elbows pointing out.

Inhale and gently twist to one side as you exhale, inhale to the center and twist the other way as you exhale. Keep lengthening your spine and squeezing your abs in and up. Two sets of six repetitions to each side.

Stretch it. Reach arms high and stretch side to side. Maintain Core Contraction and deep breathing throughout.

Squish it. Literally squeeze the fat cells with your fingers. Massage, squeeze and press those little globs of fat. Help them melt and shrink. Since fat carries toxins, detoxify by adding fresh lemon juice, extra water and fiber to your diet.

See it. Picture your abs strong and toned. Visualize your waistband getting looser.

Tone your tush in the car or at your desk. Contract glutes and press your feet into the floor. Draw your tailbone forward and feel as if you are lifting yourself off the seat. Squeeze inner thighs together. Hold and breathe maintaining the Core Contraction.

Is your goal to wear a bikini or just to keep your belly from resting on your thighs when you sit? Whether you are sitting, walking, running, swimming, practicing yoga, lifting weights or dancing, you will be supporting your upper and lower body naturally because that is what these powerhouse muscles are designed to do.

Practice these simple toners to increase your energy and vitality. And you will enjoy seeing the waist of your jeans getting looser!

Kay Wagner, LMP and NASM certified personal trainer, leads strength training, yoga, pilates and free weights at Rosehill Community Center. She offers personal training and meditation coaching in her studio overlooking the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo.

Kay specializes in coaching boomers and seniors. Email kay@kaywagnerwelllness.com, call 425-353-4545 or visit kay@kaywagnerwellness.com for more information.

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