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Woman doing crunches for core exercises
Fitness

How to Get Through Halloween Sweets and Save Your Abs

Now is the season for Halloween parties, get-togethers, and stocking up candy for all the kids in costumes. It is hard not to nibble on the abundance of sweets but, never fear because here are a few easy and effective ways to keep the abs tight and toned. So, enjoy this workout featuring three core exercises that will keep you in shape even if you treat yourself a little bit.

Core Exercises: Pilates 100’s

woman doing yoga Upward Extended Feet Pose for core exercises

  1. Lie on your back, then bring your legs up and hold them at a slight angle (keep your back flat on the ground). Inhale deeply.
  2. Exhale as you bring your head up with your chin down slightly and, using your abdominal muscles, curl your upper spine up off the floor to the base of your shoulder blades. Keep the shoulders sliding down and engaged in the back. Your gaze is down into the scoop of the abs.
  3. Inhale as your arms extend straight and low, just a few inches off the floor, with the fingertips reaching away from you.
  4. Take five short breaths in and five short breaths out (like sniffing in and puffing out). While doing so, move your arms in a controlled up and down manner ⁠— a small but dynamic pumping of the arms. (Be sure to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. The abdominal muscles should be doing all the work.)
  5. Do a cycle of 10 full breaths. Each cycle is five short in-breaths and then five short out-breaths. The arms pump up and down ⁠— about a 6-8 inch pump ⁠— in unison with your breath. Keep your abs scooped, your back flat on the floor, and your head an extension of your spine, with the gaze down.
  6. To finish: Keep your spine curved as you bring your knees in toward your chest. Grasp your knees and roll your upper spine, and head down to the floor. Take a deep breath in and out.

Core Exercises: Criss Cross

Woman doing criss cross or bicycle crunch for core exercises

  1. Lie on your back; LEFT leg is up and at a slight angle, RIGHT leg is bent and is flattened in “table-top.”
  2. Place your hands behind your head, and with your chin down slightly, use your abdominal muscles to curl your upper spine up off the floor.
  3. With a slight twisting movement, LEFT elbow reaches for the bent RIGHT knee.
  4. Keeping hip bones and back ‘glued’ into the floor, bend the LEFT leg into ‘table-top’ and extend the RIGHT leg up and at a slight angle.
  5. With a slight twisting movement, RIGHT elbow reaches for the bent LEFT knee.
  6. Continue alternating opposite elbow to the opposite bent knee for a total of 20 times.
  7. To finish: Keep your spine curved as you bring your knees in toward your chest. Grasp your knees and roll your upper spine, and head down to the floor. Take a deep breath in and out.

Core Exercises: Crunches

Woman doing crunches for core or ab exercises

  1. Lie on your back, and squeeze your belly button towards the spine to push back into the ground. Bend both knees and have feet about 2-fist distance apart.
  2. Place hands under your head as you lie flat on the ground, tighten hamstrings and glutes to help flatten back down. Inhale deeply.
  3. Exhale as you bring your head up with your chin down slightly and, using your abdominal muscles, curl your upper spine up off the floor to the base of your shoulder blades. Keep the shoulders sliding down and engaged in the back. Your gaze is down into the scoop of the abs.
  4. Inhale as you lower your upper body and head back down slowly with control. Do not arch the back on the way down; keep pushing the belly button down to the ground.
  5. Repeat slow and controlled crunches for a total of 20.
  6. To finish: Bring knees to chest and rock side to side to relax the low back.

If your floor is too hard to do core exercises, check out our favorite exercise mat. Then, for a total core workout, do these three exercises to complete one set. Stick with it, and you’ll begin to feel stronger and look better in your clothes beyond Halloween!

Read Next: 

Easy DIY Halloween Party Ideas

4 Minute Workout…AKA Nitric Oxide Dump

The Fastest Way to Reduce Belly Fat

 

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