Do This With Your Heels For A Killer Ab Workout

A strong core is a prerequisite for a lot of things — good posture, support for functional everyday movements, and a means to cushion your spine being some of them. 

When it comes to ab workouts, however, exercises like planks and crunches are what people usually turn to. Crunches are probably the most common ab exercise we've seen. However, one other exercise involves touching your heels while lying on the ground which packs just as much (or more) of a punch than these go-tos. They're called heel taps, heel touches, or ankle taps and don't require anything other than your body and some space to get down on the ground. You lie down face up on the ground, bring your heels and position them close to your glutes, and then alternate sides touching your heels with your hands. That simple.

Are you already doing ab exercises every day? No problem. Just add heel taps to the routine. According to certified personal trainer, Tatiana Firpo (via Women's Health), you're going to work out more than just your six pack.

Heel touches target three different core muscles

The great thing about heel taps is that they focus on strengthening three muscle groups that make up your core (instead of just one) — the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis, and the obliques, Firpo told Women's Health. The rectus abdominis (also known as the six pack) is the muscle that's located between your ribs and pubic bone, the transverse abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle located inside the internal obliques, and your obliques are the muscles that span the sides of your body, also known as the side abs. 

While a regular plank and ab crunch focuses on the front section of your abdominal muscles, heel taps also include your obliques. Believe it or not, strengthening your side abs is also an important part of getting an overall killer core workout. 

Your obliques support your spine but also help with everyday rotational movements, like bending to your side to pick something up or twisting to the back to look at a nice view. Oblique strengthening is great for good posture, and better balance, and may even help with reducing lower back pain. Let's look at how you can strengthen your core by using your heels.

How to do heel taps the correct way

As with any exercise, getting the correct form is the number one thing you should be focusing on. The beauty of body-weighted exercises like heel taps is that they give you the space to do so without having to worry about balancing a big weight in your hands or attached to your feet. 

Start but spreading out an exercise or yoga mat on the floor. Get on the mat and lie down with your lower back flat on the ground and face up to the ceiling. Bend your knees and bring your heels close to your glutes. Engage your core and lift your shoulders off the ground while keeping your neck neutral. Now move toward the right, touching your right heel with your right hand, and repeat the same movement on your left. You've completed on set. Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps to begin with and adjust according to how well you're doing. Remember, don't compromise on form just do to additional reps or sets. It's important to first master the technique to make sure you're working your core without putting strain on your neck. Once you get the hang of it, you can move your heels away from you and try touching them. This just ups the burn you'll feel in your core. 

Now you've found one more exercise that should be in your workout routine