Striving for Six-Pack Abs
Flat stomach, tight abs -- we all dream about it. Here's how to get them, with step-by-step instructions and photographs.
Ab Exercises continued...
Bent-Elbow Plank: This exercise works the whole trunk, particularly
the transversus abdominis. Start by lying on your belly and then lift yourself
up onto your toes and forearms (elbows in line with shoulders) while
contracting your abdominals and keeping your back neutral. Hold that position
for five seconds, then rest and repeat. Ultimately, strive to hold the pose for
90 seconds without any rest -- for one set. If you're more experienced, you can
also do this exercise on your hands and toes. (As a beginner, start on your
hands and knees with a neutral spine and simply contract the abdominals on an
exhale without moving your back.)
Bicycle: This exercise works your obliques as well as your rectus
abdominis. Lie on your back, hips and knees bent at 90-degrees, chest curled
over ribs, hands behind your head. Extend the left leg out while bringing the
right knee in towards the chest and rotating the left shoulder toward the right
knee. Keep the arm from crossing the face. Rotate from the trunk through the
center to the other side without dropping your chest. Move in slow, controlled
movements without shifting your hips.
If you perform these exercises consistently, says Calabrese, you will notice
a significant difference in the strength and tone of your entire torso within
"Be consistent," she says. "Be patient and believe a flat
stomach is possible."