From engagement photo outfits to your dream wedding gown to your honeymoon wardrobe, crop tops and cutouts are EVERYWHERE! You cannot avoid them. But why should you want to? I’m here to help you own the skin you’re in and rock what you’ve got! Disclaimer: I hold the belief that abs are [mostly] made in the kitchen. However, I also believe that a solid core workout helps boost endorphins and confidence. Read on to find a sequence of crunch variations…because sometimes a girl just needs to do a crunch. Prepare yourself, though – these crunches are anything but normal.
Grab your pilates mat or a towel, a timer, and some tenacity. Flow from one position to the next and complete all three exercises as you focus on your breath – exhale on exertion (when you crunch). Rest for one minute then repeat the entire sequence from the top!
Begin by lying in supine position (on your back). Bring the soles of your feet together, moving your legs into a butterfly. Place your finger tips at the base of your head and close your elbows over your face. Engaging your abs, tuck your tailbone, press your lower back into your mat, and crunch by lifting your shoulder blades a few inches off the mat. Hold for one count and release. Repeat the crunch for 1 minute.
Pro-tip: Focus on lifting your face toward the ceiling, keeping your chin away from your chest.
Mini Reverse Crunches
Extend your legs outward and up to the ceiling. Keeping your upper body crunched and your core engaged, lift your booty off the ground bringing your feet toward the ceiling and then return to the floor with control. Repeat the lift and lower movement for 1 minute. To modify, leave your upper body on your mat and focus only on lifting your booty.
Pro-tip: Don’t lift too high, the small and controlled is best – hence, the name “mini”!
Set your upper body down and bring your left leg to table top height. Cross your right leg over the top of your left leg and wrap your right toe behind your left ankle (Reverse this for round 2). To modify, leave your toe untucked but ankles touching. Return your fingers to the base of your head with your elbows pointed forward over your face. Simultaneously lift your upper and lower body in attempt to touch your elbows to your knees. Repeat for 1 minute.
Pro-tip: The goal is to keep your abs engaged. Take care to not let your feet too close to the ground unless you can sustain your your lower back on the floor at all times.
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE!