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Blast Your Abs as You Warm UpWhen you find yourself pressed for time, the last thing you think you can do is fit in a good warm-up and cool-down in your workouts. You may feel like you have to rush through your warm-up to get to your workout, and you have to rush off after completing your workout without taking the time to cool down your muscles. Thankfully, we've got a warm-up that can help to not only kick your body into beast mode, but which will give your abs and core a great workout at the same time. You can kill two birds with one stone, and you'll feel like a superstar as you head to your strength training workout!
1. Dynamic Spiderman with T-ReachStart on your hands and knees, with your back nice and flat. Get into plank position and bring your right knee up to your right arm, placing your foot outside your hands. Keep that back leg straight and squeeze your quads as you hold the position for a moment. Bring the leg back to its original position and repeat with the other leg. This is a wicked core workout, as you're basically holding yourself in plank the entire time. Plus, it's a great stretch for your legs (particularly your glutes and hams) and will give your upper body a nice warm-up.
2. Bear Crawl
Start on your hands and knees, with your back flat and your neck straight. Now lift your knees about an inch off the floor, holding yourself only on your hands and toes. Move your right hand forward and step forward with your left foot at the same time. Repeat with the left hand and right foot, slowly crawling forward like a bear. This exercise engages every muscle in your torso, and it's a brilliant workout for your entire upper body. To make it even harder, repeat it backwards!
3. Body SawYou'll need sliding disks or a piece of cardboard for this exercise, which is amazing to shred your core! Place your feet on the disks and assume the plank position on your elbows. Keeping your back straight, push your feet backward a few inches until your arms reach a 45-degree angle, then pull your body forward until your shoulders are nearly over your hands. Go back and forth over and over (like a sawing motion) until your abs are on fire!
4. Bird DogThis ab movement is guaranteed to have your core on fire in no time, and it will get your blood flowing to your leg and upper body muscles effectively. Start on your hands and knees, with your back nice and straight. Lift your right hand and right knee off the floor, bringing that knee up to touch your right elbow at the center of your body. Your core will engage to keep your balance, and it will be on fire as you finish the set with the right arm. Switch to the left arm and leg, and repeat until you feel your back, obliques, and abs protesting.
5. Sliding InchwormYou'll need sliding disks or a piece of cardboard for this exercise as well. Assume the plank position, on your hands rather than your elbow. Tighten your abs to pull your feet towards your hands, moving them as close together as possible. Now slowly walk your hands forward, moving a few inches at a time until you are finally back to plank position. Repeat this exercise as desired, and feel the burn in your back and abs, along with the warmup in your hamstrings, upper body, and core!