Crop tops, midriffs, bikinis, oh my! Summer is a time for indulging (hello, ice-cream!) but it’s also the time of year when you wear the least amount of clothing. Yep, your tummy is on show pretty much around the clock. So what are some moves that will really tone and strengthen your ab area? Hannah Davis of BodyByHannah in New York City to the rescue! She has shared four moves that can totally transform your tummy. And we’ve turned to Aussie personal trainer Christian Miranda for his verdict on whether they will actually work…and you’ll be happy to hear that the answer is, yes!
1. Do the twist
Hook yourself up with a dumbbell and hold it in your right hand. (If you can’t get your hands on a dumbbell anything slightly heavy will do – even 2kg bottle of milk!) Get into plank position, balancing on the chair with your left palm. Raise the dumbbell up until your elbow makes a 90-degree angle. Twist your body to the right and raise the dumbbell toward the ceiling until your arm is straight. Rotate back to start position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides. “This is a core stability movement that works multiple muscle groups including your arms and abs,” explains Christian. “To get the most out of it, maintain proper alignment throughout the body by keeping the neck long and body straight.”
2. The seat stand
Firstly, hold onto the ends of the dumbbell in your hands. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, facing away from the chair. Raise your left foot and place the ankle over your right knee (yes, you will need to practice your balance here). Now bend your right knee and lower your bum to the seat, keeping your left leg crossed over the whole time and your arms straight out in front of you. As soon as your bum hits the seat, pop back up to standing position while doing a biceps curl with the dumbbell, and squeeze your bum when your right leg is straight. Again, repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides. “This is a great glute exercise and will also strengthen your core,” explains Christian. “Make sure the chair you’ve got is low enough so that you can squat to at least a horizontal level (or whatever your flexibility allows).”
3. The side ab dip
This move is going to target your obliques (your side ab muscles) so be prepared for some serious burn, ladies! Get into the side plank position, with your left foot on the chair's seat and right foot on the floor. Balance on your right forearm, with your left hand on your left hip. Slowly lower your right hip to the floor, then return to start position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides. “This movement will tighten up your waistline and make it more defined and will also target the love handles area,” explains Christian. “To do the move properly, make sure your elbow is positioned under the shoulder – if it’s too far forward or back you won’t have the proper alignment.”
4. The double dipper
A move that works your abs and bum at the same time? We’re all ears. Firstly, hold the end of the dumbbell in your palms. Lie on your back on the floor, with your heels on the chair's seat, leave your arms straight and extended to the ceiling. Raise your bum off the floor as high as you can go, squeezing tightly, keeping your spine straight as a board. Lower your bum to the floor, then do a full sit-up. Return to the floor, alternating bum raises and sit ups. Repeat for 60 seconds. “This exercise will help you to target your abs and glutes at the same time. Ensure that you finish the sit up before doing the glute bridge – don’t let the movements blend into one another,” explains Christian.
Are you keen to try these moves?