Trying to get active again? Washington Sports Club trainer Benjamin Lax is helping you cut the COVID cushion with five adaptable moves that can be done in minutes.
Each of these moves can be adapted for any fitness level. Start with easy, then work up to medium and hard.
You can do one of these each day of the workweek for a consistent workout in just five minutes a day. Or just try out some of these moves several times a week, and you’re sure to start feeling stronger and healthier. You can do it!
Benjamin Lax' Cutting the COVID Cushion Workout
Easy Version: Start on your elbows and knees: the reason is that it will engage your core. This also the best way to start on your form. Keep your back flat and core engaged. You will do this for four sets, 1 minute each set, with only 15 seconds rest.
Medium: Is a normal plank. You will be on your elbows and toes. You move to this version after you can successfully perform the knee plank for four sets for 1 minute. In this plank, you need to work on keeping your core tight. To do this just imagine sucking in your belly button to your spine. Perform this exercise for four sets, 1 minute, 30 seconds rest.
Hard: A plank twist. This is next exercise is just adding a little bit of hip mobility to the plank, helping us engage our obliques and our lower back. This exercise should be performed after you have mastered the medium stage. Once again, four sets 1 minute, 30 seconds rest.
Easy: Lay on your back. Legs are straight out in front of you and take your hands and reach for your toes. This sit-up is just designed to work on the movement in the core coming from a fully flat position into a sitting one. This version is good for beginners as well as people who have trouble getting up out of laying position. Your sets and reps here are four sets of 30.
Medium: This version is what most people do for core exercises. It targets the upper area of your rectus abdominis. While doing this version you want to make sure you do not feel a lot of tension in your hips we want that core to bring us up and down. You want to perform four sets of 30 with 10 seconds of rest in between to feel the burn.
Hard: This version is known as a V sit-up. This sit-up is advanced because you combine your upper and lower abs to get that good burn. You will start with arms straight behind your head and leg straight out in front and then raise both at the same time until your body is shaped like a V. Perform this exercise four sets for 30 reps and 10 seconds rest in between.
Easy: The easy version of this exercise is to raise your heels off the ground and hold the back of your thigh. This exercise targets your lower core, back and balance. This will help develop that V line that some people desire from doing the abs work out. Four sets of 1 min
Medium: After you have mastered holding the easy position you can move up to medium. The only difference here is that you are letting your arms hang out right by the side of your body and you never touch your legs. Once again you will hold this position for four sets of 1 min intervals.
Hard: This position is the hardest version because you have stretched on your limbs and core as much as you can. That creates a lot of instability. That instability will make your core work that much harder, keeping you up so you will not fall. Finally, hold this version four sets, 1 min interval.
Easy: Leg lifts are to target your lower abdomen. The easiest version of this exercise is to lay flat on your back and just bring your knees up to your chest. While performing this exercise it is very important to keep your back flat against the ground. The way you can do that is every time your legs move, take one big inhale suck your belly button into your back. Perform this exercise four sets of 30 with 10 seconds rest in between.
Medium: The next level in the leg lift is to raise your legs straight up and down. This is harder because with performing core exercise anytime we stretch our limbs aways from the center of our body it becomes increasingly difficult. However, the technique is the same. Hands out by your side, have your legs straight out. Take a big inhale and raise those legs straight up and lower them slowly, that is forcing your core to work that much harder. You should continue to perform this exercise for four sets and 30 reps.
Hard: This time we will raise our legs up and lower them to the left, raise them back up to the middle, then lower them to right. Incorporating the side movements is another way to target the obliques. After you have done the middle and both sides you will repeat the movement. When lowering to the sides you want to make sure your hip stays in contact with the ground. You will perform four sets of 1 min and rest for 30 sec.
Easy: This exercise is good for the full body. You are first holding a high plank just like a regular plank it targets your rectus abdominis. While that is happening you are moving your legs. Bringing your knee up to your chest. That is crunching your lower abs as well as your upper. Perform this exercise with four sets of 30 reps. You count your reps as right leg, then left leg — that's one.
Medium: In this version, you cross sides. You bring your right knee to your left elbow and then your left knee to your right elbow. This is good for your obliques and that deep V cut. Perform this exercise for four sets of 30 reps with 30 seconds rests in between.
Hard: This version is a combo move. You will bring your knee to your chest. Then you will bring your knees to opposite elbows. This is very good just get your heart rate up and really attack that core hard. You will do this movement for four sets for 30 reps.