The Complete Routine
These six moves from trainer Leisa Hart will trim, tighten and tone your midsection. Do this workout three times a week and you'll see results within a month.
-This strong sexy abs workout designed by personal trainer Leisa Hart fuses elements of yoga, ballet, and Pilates. Kim Strother, a New York City-based personal trainer, demonstrates the 6 moves. All you'll need to try the workout yourself is a 3-foot long scarf or towel and a chair. Figure Eights: You'll need a 3-foot long scarf or towel and a chair. Sit tall on your chair. Place your right hand on the seat behind you. Hold one end of the scarf in your left hand. Lean forward and with your left hand, make a figure eight over your head and down your left side. Whip the scarf energetically as far as you can in each direction. You'll repeat this movement 8 to 10 times. Figure Eights are great for loosening up your core and working your obliques, which are the abdominal muscles that run down your side. You'll do 8 to 10 reps and then switch sides holding the scarf in your right hand and doing 8 to 10 reps. The Climb Up: You'll need a 3-foot-long scarf or towel. Start lying face up on the floor with the scarf wrapped around the ball of your right foot. Knees bent, your left foot on the floor. Hold both ends of the scarf together in your hands. Extend your right leg keeping your foot flexed. Slowly walk both hands up the scarf as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Hold for a count of 2. Now, lower yourself back to your starting position, walking your hands down the scarf. You'll do 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side. The Climb Up works your rectus abdominis, the muscles that give you a nice 6 pack, and your transverse abdominis, your deep abs. Be sure to keep your head neutral. Don't tuck your chin or tilt back. The Side Crunch: Kneel on the floor and lean all the way over to your right side, placing your right palm on the floor. Keeping your weight balanced, slowly extend your left leg and point your toes. Place your left hand behind your head, pointing your elbow towards the ceiling. Next, slowly lift your left leg to hip height as you extend your arm above your leg with your palm facing forward. Look out over your hand while bringing the left side of your ribcage towards your hip. Lower to your starting position and repeat 6 to 8 times. You'll do 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps and then switch sides to do the same. The Side Crunch targets your obliques, which are the abdominal muscles that run down your side. It also works your lower back, glutes, and thighs. The Bow: You'll need a 3-foot long scarf or towel. Sit on the floor with the scarf wrapped around your left foot. Hold both ends of the scarf in your left hand. Bend your right knee and place your foot on the floor. Now, lean back as you extend your left leg. Twist your torso to the right while reaching back with your right arm at shoulder height, keeping your foot about 12 inches off the floor. Pull the scarf to draw your left knee towards your chest while leaning your torso back to center, tapping your left foot with your right hand. Repeat this move 6 to 8 times and then switch sides. You'll do 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps on each side. The Bow works your obliques, which are the abdominal muscles that run down your side and your rectus abdominis, also known as your 6-pack. The Ballet Twist: Sit on the floor and extend your legs, pressing them firmly together. Lean back 45 degrees from the hips. Keep your abs engaged as you bring both of your arms overhead like a ballerina. Slowly twist your torso to the right, placing your right arm on the floor. Keep your left arm reaching overhead for a slow count of 3. Repeat the movement to your left and place your left arm on the floor, keeping your butt and both heels on the floor. Contract your abs to support your spine as you return to center, bringing both of your arms overhead. Continue alternating sides. You'll do 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps on each side. The ballet twist works your obliques, which are the abdominal muscles that run down your side, as well as your 6-pack and your deep abs. The Leg Pulse: You'll need a 3-foot long scarf or towel. Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and the scarf wrapped around your left foot. Hold both ends of the scarf together in your hands. Straighten your left leg. Use the scarf to gently pull your leg close to your head for a hamstring stretch. Next, lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor bringing your right leg up to meet the left. Slowly lower your right leg as far as you can without arching your back. Repeat pulsing your right leg 8 to 10 times, then switch sides. You will complete 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side. The Leg Pulse works your rectus abdominis, the muscles that give you a 6-pack, and your transverse abdominis, or your deep abs. Your hamstrings will also get a good stretch. Try these moves 3 times a week and you'll see a flatter, firmer middle in 1 month.
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