Name the muscle groups people want to rock the most at the beach, and we’re betting abs and glutes top the list. But, unfortunately, your glutes and abs are also among the most difficult body parts to sculpt and grow. That’s because the thighs, buttocks, and stomach accumulate more fat than other areas, according to the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). However, whether you want to develop six-pack abs or round buttocks, adding the following exercises for your abs and glutes to your routine can help you achieve your fitness goals.
The best part about these exercises is that they’re low-impact, which means they improve your cardiorespiratory fitness, lower your risk of injury, improve your balance and mobility, and have a mild impact on your joints, explains WebMD. Other forms of low-impact exercise include light walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, and tai chi. These workouts are much easier on your joints than high-intensity physical activities like running, jumping, and heavy weight lifting.
Luckily we asked Kate Meier, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, to share his best low-impact exercises for your abs and glutes in time for beach season. “Strong abdominal and gluteal muscles are essential for overall strength and injury prevention. The following four exercises are low-impact ways to develop them effectively,” says Meier.
Keep reading to learn more. And when you’re done, discover simple yet effective exercises for instant abs that trainers love.
1. Plank with leg lift
First, the plank with leg raise, an ultra-effective low-impact exercise to work your abs and glutes simultaneously.
To start, assume a plank position on your forearms, making sure your elbows and shoulders are stacked and your feet are straight behind you. Engage your core by imagining that you are bringing your belly button towards your spine. Lift one leg in a pulsing motion while keeping your hips low and in line with your shoulders. Experiment with the angle of your leg lifts until you feel it in the glute on the side of the leg you are lifting. Try holding the plank for a minute and alternate legs after 30 seconds.
2. Touch the toes
Toe touches are another fantastic core exercise that’s gentle on the joints.
To start, lie on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms pointing up. Slowly raise your legs until your hips form a right angle. Prevent your knees from bending. Reach your toes as far as possible without straining your back, keeping your legs straight as much as possible. Aim for 15 to 20 reps. Again, focus on quality over quantity and make sure you move with control.
3. Clamshell Bridge
Next is the Clamshell Bridge, a low impact lower body exercise that will engage your obliques while helping to sculpt your glutes.
To settle in, lie on your back with your arms at your sides and the soles of your feet pressed together. Lower your knees to the floor and out to the sides, keeping your feet together. Raise your hips until you reach your maximum comfortable range of motion. You should feel movement in your glutes, hips, and inner thighs. Slowly lower back to starting position and repeat. Aim for 12 to 15 reps.
4. Dead insects
This unique move sees all of your limbs move at once to achieve a solid burn through your abs and glutes.
To begin, you will lie on your back with your legs bent in tabletop position. Your hips and knees should form 90 degree angles. Reach both arms directly toward the ceiling. Lower your right arm as you straighten and simultaneously lower your left leg toward the mat. Stop when your arm and leg float just above the ground. Return to the starting position, then switch arms and legs to do the movement on the opposite side. Keep your core engaged all the time. Aim for 16 to 20 reps (eight to 10 on each side, alternating your leg with each rep).
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Learn more about Adam
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