When it comes to strengthening my core there are three fundamental moves that I can’t get enough of…
There's no one abdominal exercise that comprehensively works all the muscles of the core, but the oblique crunch come close. It's an excellent exercise for building core strength and shaping your waistline. What's more, it's pretty easy to do well.
The secret to a perfect oblique crunch:
I find three sets of 25 reps is the perfect challenge.
Not only does this move provide an intense core challenge, you can strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and legs while you're at it - it really is a full body functional exercise. Maximizing the results comes down to nailing your technique:
Try and hold the plank for as long as you can, then switch sides. Whatever you do, keep your hips up in the air.
Using your arms and legs as levers is an excellent way to challenge your core, and there is plenty of scope to adjust the intensity. To get the full benefit of this ab exercise you need to focus on your breathing and whatever you do, don't arch your back.
If you need to make it easier, simply keep your knees bent as you extend out. To increase the challenge lower your extended legs closer to the floor ensuring your back doesn't arch.
Article by Erin Maw, Supplied by Les Mills International
Erin Maw is a global fitness pro who stars in numerous LES MILLS™ workouts and travels the world training Les Mills instructors. You can learn more about Erin Maw here.