Abs, core, midsection, six-pack. Whatever term of endearment you choose, our tummies are always on the to-do list of fitness.
Luckily, in almost every workout – whether it’s upper body, lower body or cardio in general – the midsection is involved. A stronger middle makes for a healthier back.
Today’s exercise is a tabletop elbow to knee. This move will work your entire midsection, with a focus on diagonal movements. All you need is a yoga mat and a flat surface.
Begin this exercise on your hands and knees. Place the hands just under your shoulders, and the knees about hip-width apart. Give yourself a stable tabletop position. Once you feel pretty solid, engage your midsection by pressing your navel up to the sky.
Now you are ready to add movement to this exercise.
Start by extending your left arm straight out in front of your body. Find your stability, then extend your right leg straight back from your body. So now you should be balanced on your right hand and left knee with the opposite arm and leg pointing outward from your body.
Once you feel sturdy in the starting position, proceed to tuck your arm and knee into the middle of your body simultaneously, aiming to touch the elbow to knee in a diagonal formation. Once you reach your deepest contraction, slowly extend this movement back to the start. Continue this tucking in and extending out motion for at least 10 times. Then release the move back to the tabletop on all fours.
Shifting your weight and limbs to the opposite arm and leg, continue this tucking motion on the opposite side. Give yourself at least two to three sets on each side.
Many abdominal exercises are typically on your back; and some have restrictions about lying flat on their back on the floor. This tabletop abdominal move will give those a good option.
And the bonus is you are working your upper and lower body as well!
Add this move into any core work out, or enjoy it all on its own.
Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at [email protected]