2.20.2011

abs-urdly fit tummy

With bathing suit season coming up, workouts and healthy eating habits are taking over. Usually at the top of the make-over list is the stomach. Why wouldn't it be? When we see the likes of Megan Fox strutting around with a six pack like it ain't no thing. I see that and say, "I have to have those!"

Yet, it can be a little intimidating figuring out just how to get that toned tummy. Infomercials are thrown at you from every which way, complicating the situation. You've got the 6 Minute Abs DVD and those complicated looking machines that look similar to torture devices. Don't go pulling out that credit card or dialing any numbers. I mean, really, abs in six minutes? Doubtful. And what if you don't have room for a workout contraption in your cramped apartment?

I like simple. Something that doesn't require any equipment, and where a mat is optional. Thankfully, Women's Health had just the thing for me: a smidgen of yoga and some burning crunches, with simple A and B instructions

Pool season, here I come...

For each move:
SETS 2-3
REPS 8-20


Sun Salute with Cross
Stand with legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart, arms extended overhead with hands just touching. Bending forward at the waist, reach down and touch your right foot, keeping your torso straight and moving as one unit. Straighten back to start. Repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.
 


Ankle Reach
Lie on your belly with legs straight and toes touching the floor. Bend your arms with palms on the floor in line with your ears. Reaching both arms back and up, bend your right leg, reaching your heel toward your butt as you touch your hands to your right ankle. Slowly lower your arms and leg to start. Repeat with your left leg to complete one rep.

Double-Side Jackknife

  Lie on your left side, your legs stacked and straight. Wrap your left arm in front of your torso, placing it on your right hip, and put your right hand behind your head. Simultaneously raise your torso and legs, bringing your head toward your hips. Return to start in a controlled motion and repeat for all reps, then switch sides and repeat reps to complete one set. Too hard? Start by lifting just your legs.



Dynamic V-Crunch
Lie face up with your legs straight — in line with your hips and perpendicular to your torso. Extend your arms in front of you, keeping them in line with your shoulders. Contract your abs and lower your legs so they're at a 45-degree angle with your hips. Then reach toward your left leg, simultaneously raising it and bringing it in line with your hips. Lower your left leg. Repeat with the right leg to complete one rep.
 Raised-Hips Crunch
Lie face up with knees bent and feet flat on floor, hands behind head, and fingers unclasped. Press your hips off the floor into a bridge position, keeping your hips level. Maintaining the bridge, contract your abs and then raise your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as one unit. Pause, then lower, and repeat. For more of a challenge, lift one foot slightly while you perform half of your reps, then lift the other foot off the floor for the other half.
 Side Double Crunch
Lie balanced on your right buttock, with legs straight but not locked, arms straight, palms up. Simultaneously crunch your legs and torso together, bending your knees toward your chest while still balancing on your right buttock. Return to start and repeat for all reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete one set.
 The Circle Crunch
Lie face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands behind your head with light fingers. Lift your shoulders off the floor until you feel a tight contraction, and curl your torso around in a small, clockwise circular motion (starting from 6 to 9 to 12 to 3 and back down to 6). For the next rep, repeat in the opposite, counterclockwise direction.

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