Winter workouts – 5 simple ab exercises you can do at home
Winter time can be a bit of a challenge: taking long walks isn’t an option anymore in the freezing cold and with the holidays coming up, our Christmas cravings start to emerge – ginger bread, hot cocoa and delicious comfort food. How do you stay in shape during winter? Try this 5-step workout programme to keep your abs toned and firm under your favourite reindeer sweater.
“W” leg raises
Lie flat on your back and raise your legs straight in the air, right over your hips. Bring them down and as you get close to the ground, spread them apart and raise them upwards, as if you were making a slightly rounded “w” line with your legs. Bring them down again and do 20 repetitions. Make sure your back is flat on the ground the entire time and only spread your legs as far as you feel comfortable.
You’re probably already familiar with the plank, which engages both your abs and your buttocks. Get into a normal push-up position, only in this case you will be supporting yourself on your forearms. Maintain the position for 50 seconds.
Lie on your back as you would for regular crunches, only this time you will bring the soles of your feet together and stick your knees out, as if you were trying to applaud using your feet. Raise your back slowly off the floor, keeping your abs engaged and bring your knees up too, as if you were folding yourself in half. Do 15 repetitions.
Figure “4” leg raises
This one sounds more complicated than it actually is. Lie on your back and bend one of your knees, resting that foot on your other leg, making a figure “4” shape with your legs. Lift your legs up over your hips and bring them back down, as close to the ground as you can. Remember to keep your back flat on the floor, your neck relaxed and your abs tight. Do 15 repetitions.
Leg raise toe taps
Lie back and prop yourself up on your elbows, raising your legs up at about 45° degrees from the ground. Bend one knee at a time, briefly tapping the ground with your toes, keeping your thighs completely flat and your abs contracted. This exercise is great for your legs and thighs, as well as your waistline. Do 30 repetitions.
After you’re done with all the exercises, take a 1-2 minute break, and then start over with another set. Focus on maintaining the correct form and posture, rather than speeding through the exercises and stop if you start feeling any kind of pain. Reward yourself with a warm cup of tea after you’re finished.