Functional Core Ab Workouts for Flat Abs, Smaller Waist & A Sexy Hourglass Waist

One of the reasons women struggle so much to burn stubborn belly fat, get flat abs, a smaller waist and a sexy hourglass looking waist is poor exercise technique due to a dysfunctional core.   This simple core ab workout from Corset Core Hourglass Waist plan will train your deep abdominals or what I love to call the corset muscles to do their job so you can get better results from all your other workouts.

Functional Core Ab Workout

Perform 8-16 reps of each of the 7 exercise below in a circuit.  After one round rest and then repeat IF and only if you can do so with good exercise technique.   Tie a string snuggly around your waist to make sure you are properly contracting your  deep abs (TVA) throughout the workout.

The full body exercises at the end of the video were included for fun and to show how a functional core allows you to move through more complex full body exercises quickly and easily for increased fat burning and toning.  Never ever do a functional core ab workout before metabolic workouts.

kneeling tummy vacuum - from kneeling contract the deep abdominals to pull the string away from the floor and to allow the belly button to pull away from the string naturally.  Make sure to keep your neck, upper abs, upper body, and glutes relaxed and to maintain a space between the block and your low back at all times (natural low back curve).

standing core activation w/weight - standing with feet apart and holding ball (or any weight) at chest level, bend from the hips to reach the ball towards the floor and contract the deep abs to stabilize the low back as you go up and down.  When you do this correctly you will feel the string loose around your waist as you are bending forward and back up.  Keep knees slightly bent if you need to and try not to hold your breath.

supine pelvic counter rotation - on back with legs bent and arms straight up holding ball (or any weight) rotate your legs in one direction as you reach the ball in the other direction then use your deep abs to pull the legs back to center.  When you do this correctly your upper body and legs will feel relaxed and your obliques and deep abdominals will feel like they are working as a unit.

supine leg lift w/reach - on back with legs and arms straight up holding ball/weight over chest and with a slight arch in the lower back.  DO NOT flatten your back into the floor like you hear all over the place.   That defeats the purpose of this exercise.  As you reach the arms back and lower one leg (or both legs knees slightly bent if you're stronger) to hover over the floor, the deep abs should be contracting to stabilize your low back but without you losing your low back curve.   Not many exercises require you to perform them with a flat back and this exercise is key to stabilizing most full body exercises that require a natural spine.

stability ball lateral flexion - lay on one side on stability ball with bottom leg forward top leg back and bend upper body over the ball to stretch oblique then contract the deep abs to pull your body away from the ball.   When you do this correctly your upper body and legs will feel relaxed and your obliques and deep abdominals will feel like they are working as a unit.

stability ball forward flexion activation - lay on stability ball in a slight backbend with tongue resting on the roof of your mouth (keep it there the entire time) then slowly lift the head up then use the deep abs to peel your body off the ball and flex forward into a seated position.  When you do this correctly you will feel the string get very loose and your pelvis will be in a C shape.  This is a rehab exercise not a rectus abdomins (6 pack abs) exercise so forget everything you ever learned about how to do crunches properly and focus on flexor chain activation from the neck all the way to the hip flexors. 

stability ball plank to knee tuck - from a plank position with shins resting on a ball take a few seconds to relax the upper and lower body then when you feel no tension in your body contract the deep abs as you raise the hips up high and tuck the knees in towards the chest and allow your head to drop down then slowly lower down and focus on feeling the deep abs working hard to stabilize your movement against gravity. 

Core Ab Workout Tips

  • If you have serious postural issues, injuries or core dysfunction please consult a corrective exercise specialist or rehab trainer before starting any core ab workout or any workout.
  • Try not to hold your breath when doing any core ab workout.  Breathe efficiently but in a way that feels natural to you.
  • Don't rush through the exercises.  The point is to train function not dysfunction.  Do it right and you'll get results faster.
  • Never underestimate the power of functional training.  It's not as sexy or hardcore or as flashy as all the hype ab workouts you see all over youtube but it gets results.
  • Do this type of workout 3-4 times a week after cardio or after your full body circuits.  Just 2-3 weeks of this training can make a huge difference in all your other workouts.