The abdominals are an important training focus, and core strength is key to every movement your body makes. Whether you’re a dancer, runner, golfer or prefer activities at home, having a strong core is essential.
The core is made up of all the muscles between the shoulders and hips. While most people focus on the abdominals, the core also includes other participating muscles like lats and glutes. But the real question here, is 5 minutes of ab training enough time to make a difference?
With muscle training, the principle of “overload” is what matters. In other words, you have to fatigue a muscle in order to have it respond and become stronger. Meaning, the answer to the question is YES, 5-minutes is enough time to make a difference!
Here are 6 great exercises that can be performed with the Flexistretcher® in 5 minutes to strengthen your abdominals and supporting muscles. If you’re not shaking or feeling fatigue at the end of the series, then repeat the series.
1. Pilates Bug Toe Taps - Start with the Flexistretcher® across the knees lying on the floor. Curling up the chest and holding the rings to apply tension across the knees, alternate toe taps to the floor in front. Exhale while foot taps the floor and inhale as knees return together. Perform 20 alternating toe taps.
2. Bicycle Press - Start lying on your back holding the Flexistretcher® by the rings and stretching the elastic center to the sides. Alternate pressing the elastic center and curl up pressing into the knee while extending the opposite leg. Hold for 1-3 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Perform 20 alternating bicycle presses.
3. Tuck and Reach - Lying on your back holding the Flexistretcher® by the rings, pull to the side. Tuck knees to chest and press the elastic center to the thighs. Then extend the legs to 45 degrees in front of the body and arms extended while holding the Flexistretcher® wide overhead. Inhale on the tuck and exhale on the open. Repeat 10-15 times.
4. 100’s - Hundreds are a traditional Pilates exercise that are more challenging with the Flexistretcher®. Start with the elastic center on the feet and extend them to the ceiling. Place hands in the nylon straps and gently curl up the body with head kept neutral. Press in the straps with straight arms downward for 5 counts as you inhale and then lower the chest and head and pulse 5 counts on the exhale. Perform 10 sets.
5. Roll Ups - Start with the Flexistretcher® elastic center on the feet and nylon straps around the hands while sitting. Slowly lower down rolling the spine into the floor while holding tension in the straps. Inhale at the bottom and slowly curl up the body while pulling on the nylon straps to aid in the lift and working the biceps. Repeat 10 roll ups.
6. Plank Rotation with Reach Under - Start on all four with the Flexistretcher® across the back and palms holding onto the straps on the floor. Step back in to plank and keep the upper back pushing into the elastic center of the Flexistretcher®. Shift the weight and rotate the hips and chest upward taking one hand toward the ceiling. Staying in side plank, rotate the upper arm under the rib cage and then back toward the ceiling. Return to plank and repeat alternating side for 20 times.
A strong core helps increase balance and stability, allowing your body to align and function correctly. For more stretch and strength exercises you can do at-home, visit @Flexistretcher® on IGTV and Rethink the Way You Stretch™.