90-Degree Static Press: This is a great way to wake up your core at the beginning of your workout or as a stand-alone exercise any time you want to squeeze in some extra abs work.
How to do it: Lie faceup with your knees and hips bent 90 degrees, feet flexed. Extend your arms and press both palms on top of your thighs. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, brace your abs in tight, pressing your lower back against the floor as you push your thighs into your hands, pushing back against them (note: your legs should not move). Hold for 1 count and then release. Do up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions in a row.
Make it harder: As you exhale, lift your head and shoulders off the floor as you press your thighs and palms together. Lower your upper body back down to the floor as you inhale.
Mind your muscle tip: During the contraction, imagine you are ‘zipping’ your muscles from your pelvic floor up to your belly button (drawing them in tight as if trying to squeeze into a pair of low-rise skinny jeans).