About This Workout
The heat is on — time for your tummy to come out of hiding and hit the pool or beach. No sweat. "If you want a belly that looks great in a bikini fast, you need exercises that engage multiple ab muscles with every rep," says Mahri Relin, the creator of the Body Conceptions Method, whose sculpting moves work magic on muffin tops. Firm ab flab pronto with Relin's extra-strength toners on these pages, mixing in three minutes of cardio — one minute each of mountain climbers, burpees, and jumping jacks — after every two exercises. (Have a pair of three- to five-pound dumbbells handy.) Do the workout three times a week and you'll be flashing some navel in no time.
Targets abs and inner thighs
- Lie faceup on ground, head resting in hands with elbows out to sides and legs together with knees bent, feet flat. Lift head and shoulders slightly while raising legs about 45 degrees.
- Bring both knees to left, keeping them together. Crunch up 1 to 2 inches, then down; do 10 reps.
- Keeping knees together and to left, extend right leg while keeping left leg bent; do 10 more crunches.
- Extend left leg, squeezing thighs together (knees stay slightly bent). Do 10 more crunches.
- Switch sides and repeat sequence.
- MAKE IT HARDER: After each set of crunches, pulse legs up 1 to 2 inches, then down; do 30 reps.
Targets back, arms, abs, and butt
- Lie faceup on ground with arms out to sides, palms down. Bring both bent knees to right side, keeping legs separated slightly.
- Keeping right forearm on ground, contract abs to pull yourself into a sitting position as you reach left arm across and diagonally up.
- Return slowly to start.
- Do 10 reps; switch sides and repeat.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Do the exercise as described, this time raising left leg to left side while lifting upper body.
Kneeling Side Crunch
Targets arms, abs, butt, and thighs
- Kneel on ground holding a dumbbell in right hand, left hand on left hip; bring right leg out to side, knee bent 90 degrees and toes pointing right.
- Curl weight toward right shoulder while doing a crunch to right side; keep shoulders facing forward. This is start position.
- Place left hand on ground, hinging toward left so that torso is parallel to ground, and reach right arm up as you extend right leg out to side just above hip level.
- Lower right foot and right arm as you return to start position.
- Do 30 reps; switch sides and repeat.
Stir the Pot
Targets shoulders, chest, abs, and legs
- Start on ground in plank position, elbows under shoulders, balancing on toes.
- Slowly move pelvis clockwise, as if drawing a small circle on ground.
- Do 10 circles clockwise; switch directions and repeat.
Targets back, abs, and butt
- Lie facedown on ground with hands folded in front of you and elbows out; rest forehead on hands. Bend knees out to sides so that shins are perpendicular to ground and heels are touching.
- Pulling navel in toward spine, pulse legs up 1 to 2 inches, then down, without moving upper body.
- Do 12 pulses.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Reach arms out in front of you and lift chest off ground while doing leg pulses.
Targets shoulders, abs, butt, inner thighs, and outer thighs
- Start on ground in side plank position (lie on right side, hips and feet stacked, right forearm on ground with elbow under shoulder), lifting hips so that body balances between right forearm and foot.
- Slide left toes up right calf toward knee.
- Extend left leg up, then lower it to start position.
- Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Skip the toe tracing and just lift leg up and down, keeping leg straight and knee facing forward.
Targets arms, abs, and butt
- Start on ground on all fours, palms flat under shoulders and knees under hips.
- Rock forward while bringing left knee to left elbow. Then rock back, extending left leg behind you and lifting it up.
- Do 30 reps; switch sides and repeat.
Targets arms, abs, and thighs
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, right arm extended out to side at shoulder level and left arm reaching directly up (both palms facing forward).
- Shift weight to left leg and bring right knee toward chest as you lower left elbow toward right knee and drive right elbow behind you. Return to start.
- Do 20 reps; switch sides and repeat.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Start with feet hip-width apart, then lunge right leg to right side, toes facing forward, before bringing right knee to left elbow.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2013.