Embrace the burn with these eight core-intensive moves that will firm up your tummy and bring you one step closer to a killer six-pack.
The importance of a strong core is no secret, especially when it comes to workouts like rhythm cycling. On top of firing up your quads as you pedal to the treble, your abdominal muscles are fully engaged as you lean forward and maintain your balance when it’s time to lift your butt off the seat.
A lover of abs exercises herself, Jia En designed this Shape-exclusive workout to tighten your midsection, melt away stubborn belly fat and eventually sculpt sexy abs. And as an expert in syncing music with every ride, she’s even curated the ultimate playlist to fuel this routine.
By the end of it, you will ache and it might hurt to laugh. But remember: sore today, strong tomorrow. And who knows? You might even see a vast improvement in performance during your next spin class. Ready? It’s crunch time.
Rhythm cycling instructor and first runner-up of Miss Universe Singapore 2018 Tiong Jia En demonstrates the moves in this workout video.
Do 15 good reps of these moves in the order indicated with 15 seconds of rest in between. Aim to complete three sets. For the best results, do this workout thrice a week on non-consecutive days.
TOTAL TIME: Approximately 30 minutes
YOU’LL NEED: An exercise mat
Works upper absLie on your back with your knees bent at close to 90 degrees and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart. Place hands at the back of your head to gently support the neck. Lift shoulders blades two inches above the floor. This is your starting position [A]. Engage abdominal muscles as you raise your torso. Keep neck relaxed and chin up [B]. In a controlled manner, lower shoulders to return to start.
2. Side crunch
Works upper abs and obliquesLie on your back with hands supporting your head. Bend knees and rotate hips to the right. Rest right foot on ground with left foot stacked above. Lift shoulder blades two inches off the floor [A]. Squeeze obliques and engage core as you crunch up. Keep chest open and ensure neck and back are neutral [B]. Switch sides; repeat.
Scale up: Lift both feet off the ground. Keep one hand behind head [A]. Use the other to reach for your toes with each crunch [B].
3. Criss-cross leg lift
Works lower absLie faceup with hands below lower back. Cross right leg over left, toes flexed [A]. In a continuous motion, criss-cross legs back and forth as you lift them up towards the ceiling [B][C]. Lower legs in the same manner. Keep legs as straight as possible and feet off the ground at all times. That’s 1 rep.
Scale up: Lift head up two inches above the ground. Keep chin up and ensure neck is relaxed [A] [B].
4. Leg pull-in
Works upper and lower absSit on mat and place palms down behind hips for stability. Bend knees at close to 90 degrees and lift feet off floor, allowing body to form a V-shape [A]. Keep your core engaged. Lean back and extend legs in opposite directions [B]. Bring knees in towards your chest while raising torso back to starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Scale up: Bring hands forward and raise them slightly above the ground [A] [B].
5. Reverse crunch
Works lower absLie faceup with hands below lower back. Raise knees, bent at about 90 degrees and keep feet together [A]. Engaging core muscles, raise hips and the lower back off the ground, pointing toes to ceiling [B]. In a controlled manner, lower legs until your heels are nearly touching the floor [C]. That’s 1 rep.
6. Rainbow leg lift
Works lower absSit on mat and place palms down behind hips for stability. Lean back slightly, straighten legs and lift both feet off the ground, allowing your body to form a wide V-shape. Bring feet towards the right side of the mat [A]. Lift feet up to the centre [B] and lower on the left in one continuous motion [C]. Keep abdominal muscles engaged at all times. That’s 1 rep. Switch sides; repeat.
7. Plank roll
Works obliquesStart in a forearm plank position, knees off the ground. Ensure arms are bent at a 90-degree angle, positioning elbows directly under shoulders. Squeeze butt, tighten abs, and align head with the spine. Rotate torso and drop left hip toward the mat [A]. Switch sides; repeat [B].
Scale down: Do plank rolls with knees on ground [A] [B].
8. Side plank crunch
Works obliques, upper abs and lower absPlace right forearm on ground directly below shoulder, straighten legs and lift hips off ground. Your body should be in a straight line. Raise left arm overhead [A]. Bring your left knee up towards your shoulder to tap your left elbow [B]. Lengthen left leg back to starting position. That’s 1 rep. Switch sides; repeat.
BLAST THESE TUNES
- Bad Blood (DJ Bravo Remix) – Taylor Swift feat Kendrick Lamar
- Juliet (Single Edit) – LMNT
- Hips Don’t Lie (feat. Wyclef Jean) – Shakira
- Cheap Thrills – Sia
- Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce
- Focus – Ariana Grande
- Side To Side – Ariana Grande feat Nicki Minaj
- Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna