Cardio core workout: Build a strong base for a tight, firm tummy

Cardio Core Workout 

Build a strong base for a tight, firm tummy.

By Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty

Photos by Stephanie Heymann, stephanieheymannphotography.com

Core muscles are much more than six-pack abs. They create a solid base on which your entire body relies to function. Building a strong core helps with stability and balance, which is essential as we age. Additionally, it assists with the prevention of injury, aids in helping all the muscles work more effectively together and, of course, creates that tight, firm tummy that most of us want.

Complete the following workout exercises eight times. Do each exercise listed for 20 seconds each with a 10-second break in between, as needed. Repeat the entire sequence, if desired. Note: Adding cardio bursts to this core workout will help rev up your metabolism and torch calories.

 

Plank with Shoulder Taps

Set Up: Begin face down in a high plank position, core tight, and back flat.

Action: Lift up one hand to touch your opposite shoulder and return to the start position. Alternate both arms.

 

Star Jump

Set Up: Start with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down keeping arms bent at your sides.

Action: Jump as high into the air as you can, extending your arms and legs to the sides as you jump, while trying to resemble the shape of a star.

 

Bicycle Crunch

Set Up: Lie on the floor with your hands behind your head. Lift your legs in the air and bend your knees until your legs form a 90-degree angle.

Action: Extend one leg straight out while the other is bent at your chest. Slowly go through a cycling motion. Crunch and touch your left elbow to your right knee and then change sides.

 

Mountain Climbers

Set Up: Start face down in a high plank position, core tight, and back flat.

Action: Pull one knee up and in toward your chest, return that leg to the floor and begin pulling the opposite knee forward, moving fluidly and squeezing your abs. Repeat.

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