4 Core Exercises That Prove Abs Really Are Made in the Kitchen

Get your dish towels ready.

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Plank with Arm Extensions

Abs are typically made in the kitchen by making smart food choices, but that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in a killer core workout while your dinner is in the oven. Jacqueline Kasen, trainer at Miami Beach's gym Anatomy at 1220, created a routine that requires only your bodyweight and two dishtowels.

The four exercises — which Kasen says to perform as controlled as possible — will allow you to slow down and engage your core while you're waiting for the timer to go off. When you're finished, you get two rewards: a stronger core and a delicious dinner!

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"Making sure your moves are slow and controlled allows you to get the most usage out of your core. By rushing through the exercises, you won't be in the movement long enough to receive the full benefit: strength and definition," Kasen says.

If you're worried about slipping and hurting yourself while doing these exercises, there are a couple things you should focus on to keep yourself safe, she adds.

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"Make sure you engage your core before you do any of the movements. In addition, keep your hips even with your shoulders to keep your core firing and to prevent potential injury in your lower back," Kasen says.

Ready to get started?

1. Knee Tucks

Knee Tucks

Get into a full-body plank position and place each foot on a dish towel.  Slide both knees into the chest while maintaining a flat back and without sitting down on your heels, which can irritate your knees. Repeat 15 times.  

2. Legs In and Out

Legs in and Out

Get into a full-body plank position and place each foot on a dish towel.  Keep both legs straight and slide them in and out to the sides, kind of like you would to make a snow angel.  Make sure you don't drop your hips while sliding out to maintain your core strength. Repeat 15 times.

3.  Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Get into a full-body plank position and place each foot on a dish towel. Bring your knees into your chest, alternating one leg at a time. Repeat 20 times, switching legs as quickly as possible.

4. Alternating Forearm Extensions

Plank with Arm Extensions

Get into a modified plank position. In this position, the dish towels will be under each forearm and elbow. Extend one arm all the way out until it's straight as you lower your body almost to the ground — just don't touch the ground itself. Slide your arm back in as  you raise your body back up to a modified plank, then switch arms and repeat the movement. Repeat 10 times.  

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