Get down on it: Top tips to tone up while lying down

Floor based exercises can help activate single muscles such as the hamstrings or the gluteus maximus

Vahdaneh Vahid
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Floor based exercises, if performed correctly, can help activate single muscles so they work more efficiently. Although floor based exercises should be kept to a minimum, they can be extremely useful in targeting specific muscles.

Exercise 1: Supine Hip Extension

You will need a fit ball for this exercise. This exercise helps activate the your hamstring muscles and the muscles in your derierre.


Step 1: Lie facing up on the floor.

Step 2: Place your legs on the fit ball.


Step 3: Point your toes to the ceiling and try to keep your feet a hip’s width apart

Step 4: Take your arms out to the side and turn your palms to face the ceiling and keep them this way through the exercise.

Step 5: Draw your navel in and tuck in your pelvis.

Step 6: Now slightly lift your hips up from the floor, making sure you don’t hyper extend your lower back. Keep your feet firmly placed on the ball.

Step 7: Now slowly start to pull the ball towards you using the power from the back of the legs.

Keep this movement slow and controlled.

Once you get to a 90 degree angle at the knees, then, keeping your navel draw in, anteriorally tilt your pelvis (push your derriere back).

This will increase the intensity much more as you continue to pull the ball in.

If this exercise is done correctly, you will not need to perform many reps. 3-6 reps is optimal.

Exercise 2: The Modified Plank

This is by far the most executed floor based exercise done by everyone in the gym today but the problem is it is not usually executed with the correct mechanics. Try this easy but result-bearing modified version.

Step 1: Lie face down on the floor.

Step 2: Place your feet wider than a hip’s distance apart.

Step 3: Before you lift yourself up using your forearms for support, tuck your pelvis under, draw your navel in and breathe into your into your rib cage.

Step 4: Now lift your upper body up, keeping your arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Make sure you keep your knees in place on the floor.

Step 5: Keep your hips slightly above your shoulders.

It is good to use a mirror to view yourself from the side to check your hips are in the correct place.

It is important that you do not hunch your back in this exercise – you want to keep your back as extended and straight as possible.

Your head should also be in line with your spine.

Keep your shoulder blades retracted.

Keep your navel pulled in and your pelvis tucked under slightly.

There is no time limit for this exercise. It is more about how efficiently you can do this without compensating and dipping through your lower back. The longer you hold, the more you will work your core muscles.

A good tip for beginners is to squeeze your butt muscles to help your core activate.

Exercise 3: The Side Plank

This is another great floor based exercise to help strengthen your core and the muscles in your waist.

Step 1: Lie on your side with your legs straight, although the modified version can be done with the knees bent.


Step 2: Keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and in line with your shoulder.

Step 3: Draw your navel in and lift your hips straight up to the ceiling.

Make sure your spine is kept straight throughout.

The opposite arm can be lifted straight up.

Try to keep your shoulder blades retracted and breathe into the position without allowing your shoulders to shrug up.

Again, there is no time limit to this exercise.

Complete 2-3 sets on each side.

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