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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 Exercises to strengthen & flatten your tummy!

People tend to think that the way to a flat and toned tummy is boring crunch...after crunch...after crunch.  Wrong!  There are too many muscles being left out of the game with that out-dated motion.  The way to cinching in your waist line this holiday season can be found in 3 simple exercises.

#1: The Standing Side Bend
     This exercise will work your obliques and give you the thin waist you're looking for!  Start by standing straight up with your dumbbells in hand and your palms facing your body.  Keeping your back straight and flexing your abs, lean as far as you can to the left - bending only at your waist.  Return to the start position.  Do 10 reps and then switch to your right side for 10 reps.   Rest for 15 seconds between each set and repeat once complete.

#2: The Bicycle Crunch
      This exercise works your rectus abdominis giving you the 6-pack abs we dream of!  Be sure to engage your core throughout the exercise.  Start by laying with you lower back flat on the ground.  Place your hands on the side of your head and lift your knee.  Begin the bicycle pedal motion while alternately touching your elbows to the opposite knees as you twist from side to side.  Do this for 10 reps on each side.  Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

#3: Full Locust
     This is actually a yoga pose which not only works your deltoids, traps, triceps, and your entire lower back, but also relieves back pain and spinal flexibility.   Begin pose by lying face down.  Slowly lift your legs, tighten all your muscles and raise your upper body with arms out and back.  By flexing your muscles you will provide better support all around. Your legs and upper body may not come off the ground much at first, but will improve over time and with practice.  Hold the pose for as long as you can and be sure to breathe evenly.  Slowly lower back down to the mat.  Rest for 30 seconds with head turned to one side, arms at your sides, and palms up for better circulation.

Do 2 sets of these simple exercises 3 days each week and, mixed with cardiovascular activities, and you will start to see your core tighten and your slimmer waste take shape.

Good luck and happy exercising!

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