Drake’s “no new friends” mantra shouldn’t apply to your workout moves. For this next edition of our workout GIFs, we challenged Jenn Seracuse, director of Pilates at FLEX Studios, to create an ab workout that didn’t include basic crunches or bicycle curls (your abs’ old friends). She came up with this series of easy-to-understand moves that target your side-oblique muscles, pull in and trim your waistline, and work better than a waist-training corset. Try out these moves below, by doing ten to 12 reps of each.
Move 1: With these side-bends, begin by lying on your side. Keep your back straight and arm rested on the floor for stability as you raise your side and legs using your abs. As you bend, be careful to ensure that only your obliques are creating the lift, not the momentum from your legs.
Move 2: This move is called the Gymnast. Begin in a bridge and then bring your hips down and back, using your hands and core for support. Note that your legs should sweep over the ground — don’t rest them. This very challenging move works both sets of fluxors, the obliques, and the lower abs.
Move 3: In this move, sit back to just about sitz-bone level (also known as the point at which your body starts to tremble like hospital Jello). Push your tailbone under and scoop out your lower abs as you point and bend and tap each leg. For an advanced version, keep your elbows out to shoulder-level.
For a beginner version of this exercise, keep your hands down on the mat.
Move 4: Try the pass pike to rotate. Begin in a plank pose, with a bent knee resting on the opposite foot. Planks strengthen the central core muscles and zip in the waist like a corset, Seracuse explains. Pike up, putting the weight in the hands, which will make you feel it in your abs. The idea is not to do a downward dog — the pike should feel more like a handstand, with the weight forward. Follow with rotating your leg out, using your obliques.
Move 5: Start in plank and move your body as though you are crawling. With this move, the key is to stay in the same exact shape as you crawl, with equal weight on the arms.
Seracuse is wearing the Chelsea Leggings by Nux ($72 at Anthropologie.)