When we forget to work out, or life gets hectic, extra padding has a way of showing up around our middles. Try these core exercises to get back on track and burn belly fat. For this routine, you'll do a countdown: Start with 5 repetitions of each exercise, and then repeat the whole series with 4 reps of each exercise, then 3, then 2, and then 1! Remember, a whole rep includes both the right and left sides.
Single Leg Stretch
Start on your back and bend one knee into your chest while reaching the other one out long in front of you. Curl your head, neck, and shoulders up, and look down at your core. Instead of pulling the knee into the shoulder, reach even further and pull from not only your core but from the bottom of your foot. Make sure you don't rock side to side, and keep the other leg reaching out in front of you before switching sides. If this bothers your neck you can always put your head, neck, and shoulders down.
Stay on your back and straighten both legs, lifting one and reaching for the ankle. If you can't curl up and reach your ankle, simply hold onto your calf or the back of your knee. Keeping the legs as straight as you can (without rocking side to side), switch legs with control. Keep the head, neck, and shoulders lifted the whole time to engage your core, and try to not raise the shoulders or tense up your neck as you pull your legs in.
Bring your hands behind your head with elbows open to the sides. Just like with Single Leg Stretch, one leg bends in, and the other reaches straight out. Twist toward your bent knee and really try to bring your armpit, not your elbow, to the knee. Make sure to rotate from your whole core without pulling on your neck. Keep your collarbone open, and twist your torso to the other side with control while switching the bent and extended legs.
Scissors with Rotation
This time you'll combine Scissors with the rotation you learned in Criss Cross. Reaching your legs as long as you can, twist toward the one pointing toward the sky. Keep your hands behind your head, elbows out, and reach with your torso to feel the burn. Switch sides. (Keep whittling your waist with these 3 twisting moves that work better than crunches.)
First published: 30 Apr 2019