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Quick daily core workout

Strong abs and glutes help you move better every day. Celebrity trainer Tegan Haining shares a simple workout to activate your core.

Young woman exercising near river at sunset. She is wearing modern sporty clothing. Listening music with big white headphones and doing pushups.

Wide push-up on knees

  1. Start on your knees, bring your hands out slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Lower yourself to the floor, keeping your spine straight with your abs pulling in.
  3. If your lower back is dipping, or your butt is in the air as you are doing the push-up, this means you aren’t engaging your abs correctly. Suck your belly in to your spine and if you can only go down halfway keeping this good form then do this until you build up the strength to go further.

Wide push-up on toes

  1. Bring your hands out slightly wider than the shoulders and into a plank position.
  2. Lower yourself to the floor, making sure you are pushing your elbows out to the side rather than down along your body.
  3. Keep your spine straight, which means no dropping the abdomen or poking your chin out to try and get there faster. If you can’t complete the reps with perfect form, drop to your knees instead.

 

Lying W swims

  1. Lie on your belly on your mat.
  2. Bring your hands up to either side of your chest so they are slightly wider than your mat. Your arms should be in a ‘W’ shape with your body.
  3. Pull your bellybutton in to your spine and lift your entire upper body up off the ground. Keep your hands in line with your body (so your hands will be lifting too).
  4. If you feel comfortable here swing your hands back straight behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then bring your hands back to the start position and lower your upper body down again. That’s 1 rep.

Hip extension with ankle bridge

  1. Lie on your back with both your knees bent – your feet should be on the floor an arm’s length away from you.
  2. Lift your right leg and place your right ankle on top of your left This will help to support your pelvis and lower back.
  3. Pull your bellybutton in tight and begin to lift your hips off the floor. Squeeze your butt at the top of the lift before rolling back down to the ground. That’s 1 rep.
  4. Once you have completed all the reps on one side you should change to the other

Hip extension with straight leg

  1. Lie on your back with both your knees bent – your feet should be on the floor an arm’s length away from you.
  2. Lift your right leg up straight above you.
  3. Pull your bellybutton in tight, lift your left toe up off the floor before you push your hips into the air. Squeeze your butt and pause at the top, before lowering slowly down.
  4. The trick here is to keep pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. If you feel pressure in your lower back you can bend your top knee or regress back to the ankle bridge version.

Alternate/double leg lowering

  1. Lie on your back, squeeze your legs together and lift them straight up to the ceiling. If you feel pain in your lower back, bend your knees.
  1. If you are alternating then lower one leg to the floor, contract the abs and lift the leg back up, then change sides.
  2. If you are doing both legs together make sure your shoulders and neck are relaxed. If your lower back arches up off the floor, change back to the Level 1 version (one leg at a time).

This workout is an extract from The 7 Day Quickie by Tegan Haining, published by Penguin Random House Australia, RRP $29.99

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