By now we feel like we’ve tried it all when it comes to workouts. Yoga? Been there, done that. High intensity interval training? Old hat. Spin class? Please, we’re regulars. And yet we still find ourselves on the hunt for tight, flat abs. Although this is often a goal that requires a dietary change, choosing the right exercises is a very big factor when it comes to success. To help us on our quest, we asked David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and author of Ultimate Family Wellness , to show us how to get chiseled abs—in three moves.
Side plank with oblique crunch
To begin, lift your rib cage and hips off the floor into a plank position. Place your upper hand behind your head, so your elbow points toward the ceiling. With your hip lifted, rotate your torso to bring your upper elbow down toward the lower one. Return to start position. For a real challenge, straighten your upper arm and reach it toward the ceiling. Rotate your torso toward the floor and reach your arm underneath your ribs and behind you. Repeat this motion for about 15 reps.
Plank to pike
Get into the plank position with your feet on a towel and elbows on the floor. You may want to use a non-slide mat or rug below them for comfort, says Kirsch. Keep your shoulders in line with your elbows and your back as flat as possible, while pulling your tummy button in toward your spine to properly engage your core. Continue to engage your core and pull your legs into the pike position, so that your body looks like an upside-down “V.” Keep your core and abdominal muscles working and straighten your legs as much as possible without locking your knees, explains Kirsch. Return to the plank position after holding the “V” for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat this motion for about 15 reps.
Stability ball hand-off
Lie face up on the floor, holding a stability ball overhead with both hands. Keep your legs together and extended straight out on the floor. In one motion, brace your core and lift your arms and legs off the ground, placing the ball between your feet. Squeeze the ball with your legs and lower your arms and legs back to the floor. Repeat this move, passing the ball back off to your hands. Repeat this motion for about 15 reps.
We like to do these three moves for 15 reps each for about three sets—if we’re feeling ambitious! But feel free to tack on one set of 15 reps to the end of a good cardio session for an added bonus. Lastly, Kirsch reminds that to get to-die-for abs, you also need to defeat belly bloat. Avoid dairy, limit fruits, and avoid carbonated beverages to start!
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