YOU’RE EATING SMART and getting your heart rate up through daily cardio. Now, use the exercises shown here to target all your abdominal muscles. With a little training, they will cinch you in like a natural corset for a slimmer waistline. Feel better and look better with these suggestions from Melaleuca, The Wellness Company.
Bicycle Crunches streamline your torso by targeting all major abdominal groups. Lie flat on the floor with your hands behind your head. Pull up into a crunch. Bring one knee to your chest while straightening the other leg. Bring the opposite elbow toward your bent knee. Repeat the motion and switch legs and elbows, as if you are pedaling a bicycle. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Donkey Kicks sculpt your rear end and legs while tightening your tummy. Get down on your hands and knees. Kick back your left leg and stretch it out behind you. Keeping your leg straight, press it upward in small, controlled movements 10 times. Switch legs and repeat. Do 10 reps for each leg.
Leg Lifts focus on the middle and lower abdominals to banish the dreaded stomach pooch. Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs flat on the floor. Lift your heels 6 inches off the ground, keeping your legs straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Slowly lower legs and repeat 3 times.
The Reverse Curl engages your abs like a true crunch but saves your back from strain. Lie on the floor with your hands by your sides. Lift your bottom off the floor using just your stomach muscles (resist the urge to push with your legs and feet). Keep your arms and shoulders on the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower yourself down. Repeat 15–20 times.
The Vertical Leg Crunch targets six-pack muscles and obliques for an all-around trimmer waistline. Lie on the floor with your hands behind your head and extend your legs straight up with your knees slightly bent. Cross your ankles. Do 15 crunches, making sure your shoulders are off the ground. Recross your ankles to engage your other side of oblique muscles and do 15 more.
The Plank strengthens your core while sculpting your abs. Lie face down with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down with fingers facing forward. Slowly lift your torso and thighs off the floor, raising onto your toes and forearms. Maintain a straight, rigid line from head to heels. Breathe deeply and hold the position for 10–20 seconds. Keep your form rigid as you slowly lower your body back down. Repeat 3–5 times.
Shirley Newton says
Like. Really need to work on this.
Leg lifts exercise – You must keep your back flat on the floor while doing this exercise. If you let the back arch up, as is the tendency, you may hurt your back. This is from a Physical Education major and former gymnastic coach of 30 years.
I just finished this after a 35 min jog and it is so great! I would consider myself a beginner and this was so simple and it burned (in a good way)!
The illustration for The reverse curl does not follow the description.
Thanks, John, for the feedback. It is tough to show the exercise with one photo. On a regular curl, you lift your head towards your legs and keep your trunk on the floor. On a reverse curl, your legs and trunk are raising. There is an in-between point (not shown in the photo) where the legs are curled at the knees. The main thing is to concentrate on using your stomach muscles to lift your legs. I hope that helps.