Ab Trifecta #2

Do each exercise once, and then start from the beginning and repeat for a second set. 

Toe-Reach Crunch

This crunch works your entire midsection by extending your legs to create extra tension while continuously contracting the upper section of your abs.

Lying flat on your mat, extend one leg fully, as close to the ground as you can without excessive arching of your back, while you raise the opposite leg as high and as straight as possible.

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Alternate legs and you push your arms up toward the raised foot with each switch.  Your shoulder blades should come up off the ground and come back down each time.  Remember to keep your chin up, neck straight, and exhale on each push up, inhaling on each down.

Repeat the switches for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a steady pace.  Try to increase your time little by little!

To increase the challenge, try it with weights around your ankles and wrists! (shown in the picture at the head of my mat) 

Oblique Twisters

You know you’re a twisty little girl, (twist little girl)

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You know you twist so fine. (twist so fine!)

Yeah, the Beatles prooobably weren't taling about an abdominal exercise, and maybe you're not even a little girl, but you too can twist so fine! 

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Get going with an 8-15 lb weight, held horizontally between your hands, and sit on your mat.  Lean your torso back as far as you can without excessively rounding it, and if you can, raise your feet off the ground.  Twist the weight all the way to one side, and then the other.

Repeat 20-30x to each side.  To increase the challenge, try extending your legs!

 

Lunge + Lift

This exercise is a great total-body toner because it uses many muscle groups at once, including your quads - awesome fat-burning muscles!   

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You will need an 8-15 lb weight.  Hold it horizontally between your hands.

Space your feet far apart - they should be about twice hip-width in order to have enough range-of-motion.  Sink down into a lunge on just one side, leaving the other leg straight.  You want to make sure your lunging knee does not come out past your ankle or past your toe to protect your knee joint.

At the same time, extend your weight all the way down, keeping your back straight and abs tight as you come down toward the lunging foot.  Quickly press away from the lunge and come up onto your toe or come off the foot completely to lift up that leg.  At the same time, bring your arms up and across your torso.

Whoops! Not really a grumpy face... Just sun in my eyeballs! :)

Whoops! Not really a grumpy face... Just sun in my eyeballs! :)

Repeat at a steady pace 10-15x on one side, and then swich to the other.  Do both sides once more.

You should feel your quads (front of the thigh!) your biceps, shoulders, and definitely abs as they try to stabilize you!  Your heart-rate should also go up if you are repeating quickly and forcefully enough... and baby, that's gonna burn the fat hiding your six-pack!