The tummy workout that will get you lehenga-worthy abs

It’s wedding season and aside from it being a marathon of drinking and eating, that also means it’s time to sport the aunty-approved ethnic crop-top, the choli. While we encourage you to get as experimental as possible with your blouse, we also encourage you to not let the party wreak havoc on your body. All that dancing should have you covered on the cardio front, but the sangeet is only one function. You’re still going to have to don that choli at the reception. Here’s a 20-minute daily workout to help keep that tummy toned. You know, for all the thumkas.

Mountain Climbers

Okay ladies, it’s time to inaugurate this workout by upping your heart rate. But let’s be honest, we want to do as little as possible while still achieving our goals, so mountain climbers may be our best friend. It engages your core while pumping up that heart rate. You want to stack your shoulders over your wrists and jog your knees towards your chest. The idea is to keep your core stabilized as you would in a plank and jog with your legs without lifting your butt too much. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

V-sit with Russian twist combo

Skip the Russian salad and opt for those Russian twists instead. This is great for your internal oblique, which will give you that definition you’ve only dreamed of. Sit in a V-position with your legs slightly bent, then twist your hands to one side making sure your chest doesn’t sink. Remember both sides are a single rep so you want to do 3 sets of about 12-15 each. We suggest using a weight to increase the difficulty level. If you’re finding it hard to keep your legs raised, crossing them at the shins may help.

Knee to elbow planks

This is great for working your external oblique. Get into plank position, then lift your right knee to your right elbow while tightening your core. Repeat on the left side. If you got through that, you just did a rep. No, don’t reward yourself with a cookie. You still have 2 sets to go with 12 reps each.

Side plank dips

As if a side plank wasn’t punishment enough, now there are dips in the equation… and not the hummus kind. This workout is the arch-nemesis of love handles. Get into a side plank, while making sure your body is aligned in a straight diagonal line with your feet stacked. Then slowly, keeping everything tight, dip your hip to tap the floor before bringing it back up to position.  Do 1 set on each side with 10 reps each. In this case, we encourage double dipping.

Flutter kicks and leg raises

Working your lower abdominal is the most important for getting that lean look. For women, the last two sets are the most difficult to achieve. But if you’re not seeing results in that region even after all the sit-ups, it’s probably because you aren’t engaging the region you should be or doing the exercise incorrectly. First things first, lie on the ground with bent knees and ensure your back is completely flat. Then raise your legs to 90 degrees and slowly lower them to the lowest point you can without your back arching. For flutter kicks, slowly move your legs alternatively up and down to increase stress on your abs without arching your back. Raising both legs together or pulsing them will also work this region. Do as many reps as possible for 1 minutes, 2-3 sets.

Image Credits: Suresh Nataranjan for ELLE India, November, 2017.

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