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3 Ways to Effectively Work the Abs

By Genevieve Cunningham

Everyone wants perfect abs. We all like the idea of a six-pack and low body fat percentage. We like the idea of throwing on a swimsuit with only a moment's notice and feeling confident about it. Unfortunately most of us are not rocking washboard abs. But isn't there anything we can do to improve the appearance of our midsection? Along with losing excess weight, you may be able to improve the abs with a few targeted moves. If you’re ready to challenge the core like never before, take a look at these exercises.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are a great way to work the lower abs. Lie flat on the floor with your legs together and arms by your sides. Then pick your legs up off of the floor and hold them about 6 inches off of the floor. Rest and repeat for a set of 10 or 15 lifts. As an alternative, you can also lift your legs straight up so that your toes are pointing to the sky with your back still on the ground. Then use your ab muscles to push your feet toward the sky. Either of these (or both!) will help make your abs sore and work the muscles from top to bottom.

Russian Twists

To do a Russian twist, you’ll sit in the classic “C” position. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically the position of your body at the top of a sit-up. Knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your back off of the floor. You’ll need a weight -- a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a jug of water. Hold it in between your hands, and then twist your midsection as you take the weight from one side of your body to the other. Keep your back as straight as possible to work as much of the abs as possible. Do a set of 20 or so, and then rest before repeating.

Side Planks

You probably know about a traditional plank -- one in which you hold your flat body off of the ground with your toes and forearms. A side plank is similar, except you’ll only have one arm on the ground and your legs will be stacked one on top of the other. Lie on your side, and then push your body off of the ground making as straight of a line as possible. This helps work the side muscles in the midsection, allowing you to achieve a slimmer and more balanced look.

The abs are a part of the body that we all want. We envy those with good abs, but the truth is that we can all achieve a solid midsection. Use these exercise and watch your diet to help create toned, sculpted abs that you can enjoy all year long.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Alexandria, Va.

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