Tighter-abs workout

These functional exercises tone your abs while keeping you limber for stretching and twisting motions.

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    Tighter-abs workout

    Figure Eight

    Holding a medicine ball, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Draw an imaginary figure eight with the ball: Step forward with your left foot and simultaneously bring the ball over your left shoulder. Bring the ball down to your right hip, then over your right shoulder as you step with your right foot. You should be able to complete two sets of eight on each side.

    Tips About Using Free Weights

    A simple set of dumbbells and medicine balls will enhance your workout at an affordable price. To get the maximum benefit from free weights, move slowly and steadily, allowing your muscles to work to capacity. Avoid using the weight's momentum to swing it into position. Beginners should stick to dumbbells that weigh 2 or 3 pounds and medicine balls that weigh 2 to 6 pounds.

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    Excursion

    A. Holding a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet together. Lift your left foot in front of you about 1 inch off the floor. Extending from the hips, lean your torso back slightly and lift dumbbells overhead.

    B. Lower your arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Continue to alternate at a pace of one repetition per second.

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    Side Lunge

    Holding 1- to 3-pound dumbbells at your waist, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot 15 inches to the right, bending your right knee and keeping your right hip over your right foot. While stepping to the right, reach your left arm overhead, and reach your right hand toward the floor between your legs. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating for two sets of 10 to 12.

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    Rotational Lunge

    Holding a medicine ball at your waist, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your left foot diagonally behind you. Lift your right heel off the floor and turn to face your left knee, resulting in a lunge. Simultaneously bring the ball across your body in front of your right shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating for two sets of 10 to 12.

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