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This tiny (but mighty!) move is Shakira’s secret to a strong core


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Photo: Instagram/@shakira

When you’re not talking about Shakira’s voice, you’re probably talking about her abs—but who knew one tiny exercise could be the key to such an insanely sculpted core?

The musician recently shared a glimpse into her pre-tour workout routine with AKT in Motion founder and celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, and one move in particular really stands out. The corkscrew obliques pulse—an AKT in Motion fave—is so small it may look easy, but, oh, does it burn? (Yes, the answer is yes.)

Getting ready for tour! Trying to get in shape. Preparándome para la gira de #ElDoradoWorldTour! Shak

A post shared by Shakira (@shakira) on

While your typical oblique crunch is still effective, this version works both the obliques and the transverse abdominis (TVA)—AKA the deep core muscle that wraps all the way around your sides and spine—which is notoriously hard to target. “Your TVA is important because it is the inner corset of muscle that helps support your entire core, [and it] helps stabilize and protect your back and lumbar spine,” Jonathan Tylicki, AKT master trainer, told Self.

This crunch works both the obliques and the transverse abdominis (TVA)—the deep core muscle that wraps around your sides and spine—which is notoriously hard to target.

So, how do you perform this small but mighty move to get abs like Shakira? All you need is some type of platform.

“Lie back on an elevated surface like a Pilates box, chair, ottoman, or couch,” Tylicki said. “Gently twist your hips to one side, keeping your knees squeezed together. [Put your] hands behind your head and exhale as you lift your upper back off the box. Holding here, pulse up, exhaling each time as you pull your naval in deeper.”

Tylicki noted that doing 30 slow and controlled reps on each side for two to three sets each is a great place to start. And if you’re not sure you’re engaging the right muscles, try Shakira’s method of keeping a finger on your obliques to feel things out.

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