You're Only 5 Minutes and 4 Moves Away From Stronger Abs
During a recent trip to London, I sat down with the very engaging Desirèe Henry, Olympic medalist and Adidas athlete. When we spoke, the English sprinter was only days away from winning silver in the women's 4x100-meter relay at the World Championships, adding yet another medal to her already growing collection. Based on our conversation, you never would have guessed that she was in the throes of an intense competition; she was incredibly warm and at ease throughout our evening chat.
She shared that just that week, her mom was calling on her for fitness advice; specifically, a workout. Desirèe more than obliged, creating a quick four-move circuit. "For me it's all about the core and the abs," she said. "I do a little bit every day — even if it's just before bed."
What I love about this workout from Desirèe is that while it's beginner-friendly, it's still great for someone more advanced. It may only be four moves, but it manages to hit every key area of the core. Desirèe recommends doing this workout while also cranking up some Rihanna or Beyoncé. "They're strong ladies and they really get you in the mood to work out," she said.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet about 12 inches from your butt. Put your hands behind your ears.
- Focusing on your core muscles, lift your head and shoulders and raise up until your head, shoulders, and back are off the floor. Keep your belly button pulled in. Lower back down to complete one rep.
- Perform 15 reps.
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Interlace your fingers, and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the "pedaling" motion).
- Perform 10 reps.
You can modify this move by keeping your feet planted on the floor or by doing a seated Russian twist.
- Lie on your back, and lift your legs and arms up so they are extended toward the ceiling. Lift your upper back off the floor, reaching your hands toward your feet.
- Lower your legs toward the floor while reaching your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders off the mat and lower back pressed into the mat.
- Repeat the crunch motion to complete one rep.
- Perform 10 reps.
If this is too difficult, lie on your back, and lift your legs and arms up so they are extended toward the ceiling. Pulse your hands toward your toes for a total of 10 reps.
Travel expenses for the author were provided by Adidas for the purpose of writing this story.