You’ve probably heard someone, at some point, recommend that you “engage your abdominals” while you’re exercising. For some people, that engagement is as simple as sending a quick message from your brain to your midsection: They think the thought, and suddenly their core muscles are activated. For others, it may take a little more practice. That’s where THIS move comes in handy. Anytime I find someone struggling with the concept of engaging their abs, I have them try the move below. To see the fastest results, use this move to help engage your abs all day long, whether you’re sitting, standing, or working out!

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House For A Mouse

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  • House For A Mouse:
    • Lying facedown on the floor, arms folded so that your forehead rests lightly on your hands.
    • Pull your navel in so that it rises ever so slightly off the floor…As if you’re making a little “house for a mouse.”
    • As you do this, make sure you keep your pubic bone and your lower ribs anchored on the floor.
    • Beginners: If your abs don’t actually lift high enough to lift your belly up off the floor, that’s okay. You can still activate the muscles by bringing the belly button up and in, no matter how small the movement. You can also rest your upper body on your forearms, if it’s comfortable, so you can lift your belly further away from the floor.
    • Advanced Exercisers: Try adding a hyperextension to the move:
      • Maintaining that house-for-a-mouse core engagement, lift your upper body up just enough so that your legs and pubic bone remain on the floor, but your torso hovers just a teeny bit in the air.
      • Slowly lower back down, keeping the belly button pulled in nice and tight throughout the movement.
      • Now do the same thing with the legs. Keep the torso resting on the floor (still holding that house-for-a-mouse) and lift the lower body slowly up off the floor, and slowly lower back down.
      • Try 8 repetitions with the upper body lift, 8 with the lower body lift, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, try 8 reps lifting the upper and lower body simultaneously.