Want to create a slim waistline but don't have the time or money to visit a gym? Add these equipment-free ab exercises to your daily workout to help tighten your core, pull in your waist and create a flat tum quick-smart.
How to do it: Lying on your back with your hands behind your head, lift both feet off the floor about 45-degrees and then bend your right knee in to touch your left elbow your left leg should stay hovering. Now switch sides, extending your right leg and bending your left knee in to touch your right elbow. Repeat, keeping your shoulders off the ground at all times. Do at least 20 reps before moving on to the next exercise.
Why it's so great: This exercise targets every little bit of your abs, building strength and giving you all-round definition.
Vertical leg crunch
How to do it: Lie on your back, placing your hands on the ground for support. Now extend both legs upwards at about 90-degrees and then lift your hips off the floor, reaching them towards the ceiling. Lower back down slowly and you're done. Aim for 15-20 reps.
Why it's so great: This one targets both your rectus abdominus (otherwise known as the six pack) as well as your obliques, or side abs.
How to do it: Sit upright on your fitball with your feet flat on the ground and your knees at roughly a 90-degree angle to the floor. Pop your hands either across your chest or behind your head, then slowly roll back so that the ball rolls forward and fits into the small of your back keep those feet flat on the ground! Control the movement so that you're slowly rolling the ball in and out as you move downwards and upwards into that crunch position. Aim for at least 20 reps.
Why it's so great: The fitball creates an unstable environment, which means all the little muscles throughout your core that would normally switch off during a normal 'crunch' are engaged at all times, so instead of just targeting the front of your abs, you are also working the sides and those often-ignored deeper muscles called the transverse abdominus, or TVA.
Want an encore?
Well okay, you asked for it! After performing all these exercises back-to-back, try holding the plank position for as long as you can to really feel a good burn in your TVA.
How to do it: Start by lying flat on your stomach with your elbows up next to your chest, resting on the floor. From here, push yourself up onto either your elbows or hands into a kind of push-up position your aim is to create a very straight line from your toes right up your back to the crown of your head. Now hold, hold, HOLD this position for as long as you can. Time yourself so that next time you can see how much you've improved.
Why it's so great: An awesome exercise for your TVA, this move will pull all your muscles in tightly so that eventually they'll act like your own natural corset, giving you a defined waist. Just what we all need once we ditch those giant hoodies for slinky beach wear in a month or two!
Libby is a qualified journalist now following her passion in health, fitness and nutrition, working exclusively with women at Sydney-based bottomsupfitness.com.au. Her qualifications include Certificates III and IV in Fitness from the Australian Institute of Fitness and specialist certifications including Nutrition and Postnatal Fitness.