If you’re looking for a new ab routine, there’s no need to pick out exercises just because they look tough. Sometimes, the simplest moves can be the key to a stronger, more defined core.
The key, according to trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., is to make sure that your chosen routine provides a diversity of movement. In other words, don’t just repeat the same types of motions over and over and expect to work your whole midsection.
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Atkins mixes up her own core workouts with the simple ab weaver move. “I love this exercise because most of my ab exercises tend to live in the sagittal plane,” she says, referring to exercises that only require her to move her body backwards and forwards. “When building your ab routine, you want to circuit between all the planes: sagittal, frontal [side to side movement], and horizontal [aka the transverse plane, mostly rotational movement], to carve out your core.”
To perform the ab weaver move, all you need is some space to extend your body on the floor and a pair of obstacles, like dumbbells, to maneuver your legs around.
- Set up dumbbells about 12 to 18 inches apart
- Start in seated position, with your knees pulled in and palms planted on the ground
- Keep your chest forward as much as possible
- Extend your feet to weave feet in and out dumbbells
- Keep your back as steady as possible, maintaining a straight spinal posture
If you’re the type of person who hates counting reps, take a note from Atkins and just set a timer. “When it comes to my ab exercises, I like to do them for time (versus reps),” she says. “Counting ab reps take me out of my head, whereas using a timer helps me focus on form.”
In this case, keep weaving for 45 seconds per set, with a 10 second recovery in between. Repeat three to five times for a diversified core routine that’ll put you on a different plane.