12 Effective Abs Exercises You Can Do Right From Your Bed!

What could possibly be better than toning up while tucked in?

Energy coach and Nike trainer, Urmi Kothari from Kinetic Living shares 10 abdominal exercises—influenced by pilates and core conditioning—to strengthen your core muscles and develop washerboard abs, right at home! For the following exercises, she suggests using a slightly firm mattress which is not only healthy for your spine, but will also help you derive maximum benefit from this workout. Soft mattresses often tuck your lower back and have you lose your neutral spine alignment leading to a lower-back ache. Website- https://www.kineticliving.in/pages/bodyweightshredevolve

Diamond Crunches: 15 reps

To begin, lie down on your back and open up your legs in a diamond shape; knee out and soles of the feet touching each other. Straighten out your arms in a 'namaste', pointing forwards and inhale. As you exhale, curl the torso up and reach forward with your arms. Next, lower your back to go to the starting position.

Side Lifts

Begin by lying down in a side-plank position. Make sure that your entire body is aligned; in one straight line. As you exhale, lift the torso and legs off of the ground, together. Use the bottom arm to gently push away from the ground, without shrugging the shoulders. Next, squeeze your inner thighs together. However, do not let the pelvis tilt backwards by engaging your abs and glute muscles. Always maintain a shoulder-over-shoulder, hip-over-hip, and feet-in-line-with-the-body position for this particular exercise.

Diagonal Taps: 8-10 on each side

Begin by lying down on your elbows. Following this, bring the knees to the tabletop while keeping the lower back in a neutral position. Tap one leg towards the ground without moving your lower back or pelvis. Inhale to return back to the tabletop position.

Hard Core Bicycles: 8 on each side

Lie flat on your back and imprint the spine on the bed. Place your hands behind the head and lift the shoulder blades off of the ground as you exhale. With your legs straightened at a diagonal angle, inhale and exhale as you tuck the left knee in to the chest and rotate your upper body to the left. Next, inhale and come back to the starting position with your legs at a 45 degree angle. Now, exhale and tuck the right knee in to the chest and rotate your upper body to the right.

Full Roll Ups: 5-6 reps

Begin by lying down on your mat, with your arms extended straight up towards the ceiling. Keep your legs straight, feet flexed, and ground your heels on the floor. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, tuck your chin in and begin curling the spine—one vertebra at a time. Roll the entire torso up and over the legs. Following this, reach with the arms ahead of your torso (bend your knees if you have stiff hamstrings). Once again, inhale and raise your hands up towards the ceiling. Start rolling your spine back down—one vertebra at a time, with control. Keep the arms next to the ears throughout this movement. Get back to the lying down position and stretch the arms up towards the ceiling for the next rep.

Oblique V Tuck: 8 reps on each side

Lie down on your back with your legs stretched out on the floor. As you exhale, engage your abs and lift your torso and tuck your legs simultaneously, while rotating your torso to one side. Next, lie down with control as you inhale. Exhale and rotate to the other side as you tuck your legs in again (inner thighs engaged).

Straight Leg Obliques: 10 on each side

Lie down on your back with your legs straight, towards the ceiling. Push your lower back into the floor (imprinted spine). Exhale and engage your abs, and lift the shoulder blades off of the ground. Next, rotate the torso to the right and drop the left leg one inch above the ground. Inhale as you switch the legs. Exhale as you rotate the torso to the other side. Keep the toes pointed and the knee caps pulled up.

Hip Bridge

Begin by lying down on your back, with your feet flat on the mat, hip-width apart. Keep your arms at your side as you exhale and tuck the tail bone. Next, lift your hips towards the ceiling till your shoulders are in line with your knees. Hold this position for a few breaths and then release.

Abs Stretch

Lie down on your back, extend your hands overhead, and extend the feet, straight out in front. Stretch your entire body.

Cobra Pose

The cobra exercise is a great way to stretch the abs. Besides, it also helps counter all the forward flexion movement that often shortens your chest muscles. To begin, lie on your stomach and press both your hands into the floor. Next, pull your shoulders back and widen the collar bone. Next, keep your abs engaged by drawing the belly button towards the spine. Exhale and return to the start position with control.

Roll Over Modified

Lie down on your back and cross your feet, one above the other. Imprint the spine and inhale. Exhale and curl the spine, taking your lower back off of the ground. Make sure your abs are engaged and you use minimal momentum from your arms and legs.

Figure of 4 Crunches: 10 reps on each side

Lie down on your mat, with your spine in a neutral position. Cross your right leg over the left thigh into the figure 4 position. Exhale and rotate the torso towards the right side and try to bring the left shoulder towards the right knee. Keep both your shoulder blades off of the ground. Make sure that you do not push your neck with your arms.