We have a fool-proof plan to kick those elusive buggers out of hiding. Finally. Why’s our plan so damn effective? Because it hits your entire core – not just your abs but the muscles that support the spine – from all angles with a variety of moves that challenge your stability, balance and rotational strength.
As for results: do the moves two to three nonconsecutive days a week and you’ll notice a flat-out hot difference in just 30 days. Apply the genius of exercise physiologist Amy Dixon and marvel at the results.
Stability ball pelvic tilt crunch
Works chest, abs, hips and glutes
Grab a two- to four-kilo medicine ball. Lie face up on a stability ball with back and head pressed into the ball, your feet together on the floor and the medicine ball positioned against your chest (A). Brace your abs and crunch up until your shoulders are off the ball. Then reach the ball toward the ceiling (B). That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.
Walk the plank and rotate
Works entire core, shoulders, chest, back and hips
Get in plank position with your hands on a 30- to 45cm step (A). With your weight on your left arm, rotate your body while raising your right arm toward the ceiling (B). Return to plank position and step your right arm down to the right of the bench, then your left arm down to the left of the bench. Step back up, leading with your left arm. That’s one rep. Do eight to 10 reps, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat, twisting to the opposite side.
Mastered this move? Make it even more challenging by stacking your feet in the side plank position.
Stiff-leg pullover crunch
Works upper back, abs and hips
Grab a pair of four- to five-kilo dumbbells and lie on your back with your arms behind you. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle (A). Bring your arms up over your chest and lift your shoulders off the mat while raising your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor (B). Return to start (don’t let your legs touch the floor). That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
Works entire core, shoulders, chest, hips and glutes
Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball (A). Draw your right knee toward your chest (B). Hold for one second, then return to plank position. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
Prone oblique roll
Works shoulders, chest, obliques, back and glutes
Get in plank position with your shins about hip-width apart on a stability ball and your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor (A). Keeping your feet on the ball, draw your right knee toward your right shoulder (the left just comes along for the ride) (B). Return to centre. Do 12 to 15 reps, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat to the other side.
Works abs, back, glutes and quads
Grab a four- to five-kilo medicine ball and kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine and press the ball against your abs (A). Slowly lean back as far as possible, keeping your knees planted (B). Hold the reclined position for three seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
When coming back up, brace your core, resist using momentum, and keep your head and neck in line with your spine.
Rear leg raise
Works lower back and glutes
Rest your hips and stomach on a stability ball. Straighten your legs and position your toes hip-width apart on the floor. Extend your arms in line with your shoulders (A). Lift your right leg about 15cm off of the floor while reaching your arms as far out as possible (B). That’s one rep. Do 15 reps, then repeat to the other side without resting between sets.