There is no magic exercise that will give you an hourglass figure or rock-hard, six-pack abs. There is, however, a combination of exercises that, when combined with a healthy diet and an adequate calorie-torching cardio routine, will trim your waist and allow those abs to peek through. Strengthening and tightening your oblique muscles can contribute to a smaller waist, stronger core and better shape to your entire midsection.
-If your goal is to strengthen and tone your midsection, for weighted exercises, choose a weight that fatigues your muscles in about 12 to 20 repetitions. You don’t need to do 50 to 100 repetitions of abdominal exercises. Save time, improve strength and pick up a weight!
-Train the abdominals two to three times per week on non-consecutive days. Like any other muscle group, they need rest and recovery to repair and become stronger.
-Consult your doctor, especially with twisting and leg-lifting exercises if you have low back pain, as these exercises may be contraindicated.
Each circuit involves some sort of plank variation, because they are great at activating your whole core; a crunch or leg lift exercise, because they place extra emphasis on the rectus abdominus and obliques; and a dynamic exercise for calorie and fat burn. Complete each circuit two to four times, depending on your level of training and time allotted.
Ab Circuit 1
BOSU Spiderman Planks
Place a BOSU on the floor, dome side up. Position your elbows and forearms on the top of the ball and your feet behind you about shoulder-width apart. Perform a plank, keeping the glutes, abs, back, obliques and legs tight. With minimal movement, lift your right leg slowly and bring your right knee to the BOSU on the outside of your right elbow, keeping your foot off the ground. Contract your obliques and keep the hips low and facing the ground to try and make contact with the BOSU. Hold for a moment, return to plank and repeat on the left side. Do 10 per side.
Modifications – If you are a beginner, try this movement from a push-up position on the floor or weight bench, or from an elbow plank on a weight bench.
I love bicycle crunches because you can do them anywhere, and they activate the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominis and obliques, so they are basically a total-abdominal exercise. Lie on your back and place your hands behind your neck, lightly supporting your head. Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, keeping the right leg elevated off the