HARD CORE

These moves will burn your core like nothing else. (Want proof? Check out Annette D’Allessandro’s abdominals. Enough said.)

Abs may be made in the kitchen, but they are shredded in the gym. While spot reduction is a myth, these exercises can fortify your core to help support you in every other workout you tackle. Combine it with a healthy diet and three to four cardio sessions a week, and you’ll notice a difference in a month.

YOUR WORKOUT

Following your cardio or strength workout, do the following exercises in order from start to finish. Rest for one minute after the last move, then repeat twice from the top.

RUSSIAN TWIST

Lie on the floor with your legs bent at the knees, holding a dumbbell in front of your stomach. Lift your feet and shoulders from the floor, balancing on your tailbone to create a V-shape with your thighs and core. Keep your elbows close to your body as you twist to the left side. Hold for one second and then move back to the centre. Next, move to the opposite side using the same technique. That’s one rep. Repeat for 15 reps total.

 

V-UP

Sit upright on the floor. Pull your stomach in toward your spine and slide your shoulder blades back and down. Lean your torso back slightly while keeping your spine straight, and lift your legs toward the ceiling. Hold for up to five seconds. Return to the start and then repeat for 10 reps.

 

ANKLE TOUCHES

Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor about 18 to 24 inches apart, and arms extended at your sides. Contract your abs and crunch your torso forward so your shoulders are off the ground. Maintain this position as you shift to the right side and touch your heel. Pause for one count, then move to the left side. Continue, alternating sides, for 12 to 15 reps.

SNOW ANGELS

[A] Start seated with your knees slightly bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your heels up and lean back slightly. Bring your knees in toward your chest and wrap your arms around your shins.

[B] Open up, extending your legs and lying back; keep your abs engaged and your shoulder blades raised from the ground as you move your arms out and overhead. Keep your legs off the ground as you straighten and open them wide. Your body should look like an X with your arms and legs out and your lower back pressed against the ground. Come back to the seated position, bringing your knees back in as you wrap your arms around your shins. Do 10 to 12 reps in total.

SUPERMAN

Lie on your chest on a mat or flat surface with your arms outstretched beside your ears. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs four to five inches off the ground, keeping them straight. Hold for five seconds, then return to starting position. Do 10 reps in total.

CROSS-OVER V-UP

Lie flat on your back with your arms outstretched in line with your shoulders. Raise your legs and hover them two to three inches off the ground.

[A] Crunch forward as you lift your left leg toward the ceiling; at the same time, reach your right arm toward your left shin. Pause, then reverse. [B] Repeat, alternating sides, for 30 seconds total.

 

PHOTOS BY CHRIS V. LINTON  Follow @chrisvlinton

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