Learn how to perform strong core abdominal exercises with fitness instructor Vionna Jones.
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Vionna Jones: Hi! I am Vionna Jones with Fit in DC and I'm showing you how to have fabulous abs. Now I am going to show you three great exercises for strengthening your core abdominal muscles. Remember the core muscles are the inner abdominal muscles, the ones you can't actually see but are really very important. The transverse abdominal muscles are responsible for giving you good posture, good balance and also for holding your inner organs in place and things like that. First exercise we're going to do is a great exercise called the Plank. So to start, you are going to come down on your forearms on your mat. All you need for this exercise is a mat and your own body. So you bring your forearms down to the mat. You can have them flat this way with your palms facing down or you can have your arms to the side. You just extend one leg straight out and then the other leg straight out. Now you want to make sure that your shoulders are relaxed, your head is relaxed and you're just engaging your abs. Engaging your abs meaning bringing your belly button in, like you are pushing it towards your back. You also want to be careful that your hips are not higher than your shoulders. Everything is in one nice line. Now if you are a beginner to this exercise, if you are new to this exercise, you want to start off with bringing your knees down because you'll see that it's actually very hard, even though you are not moving, to hold this position. So you can bring your knees down. Notice, I went from being straight and just brought my knees down, I did not shift at all my upper body. Abs are still engaged. This is also a good position to be in if you start to feel your back hurt while you are in the other plank. Then you just hold this position, either one. So you can start with 10 seconds and then work your way up to 20 seconds, 30 seconds, until you can hold it for an entire minute. That's the basics of the plank. Our second core exercise is called the Dead Bug. All that you need to do the Dead Bug is a Bosu. This is a bosu, it is like half of a stability ball on a flat surface. So if you are new to this exercise, you want to start at this first variation here. You want the middle of your back to be in the middle of the bosu. If you are too far forward or if you are too far back, you are not going to be able to balance on the bosu. So you want to play around with finding just the right position for your body. So your lower back is being supported by the bosu and we're going to start with bringing the hands behind the head. So, your neck is relaxed, your shoulders are relaxed and your head is just resting in your hand. I am going to start with lifting the right leg up, a little crunch here and then the left leg up, placing it back down. You can do this repeating on each side, alternating sides 4, 10, 12, 15 times. If this does not seem very difficult, then we can go to the intermediate step. The intermediate step, you'll lift your right leg into the air, lifting the left foot off of the ground before you lower the right leg and then lower the right leg. Then again alternating sides, pick the right foot off of the ground before you lower the left foot down. Then you alternate like this. The whole time your abdominal muscles are engaged which means belly button in towards your spine. Again, you can do this one 10, 12, 15 times on each side. Then the final product and why this is called the Dead Bug? You will lift the right leg and then lift the left leg. Abs are engaged. In this one, you are not moving. You just hold this one for as long as you can. Start at 20 seconds, go up to 30, 40, see how long you can hold it. You should feel your abdominal muscles shaking here and they are really working. Then when you are done, lower one leg and then the other. For our last core exercise, we're going to do the Boat Pose. Many of you maybe familiar with this boat pose from yoga class, this is taken from yoga. All you need for this exercise is a mat. So you

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