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Top 10 Firm Belly Tips (of All Time!)

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3 All-Time Favorite Ab Exercises

Plank Pull-In

My no-fail stability-ball exercise targets the deep (transverse) and "six-pack" (rectus abdominus) abs as well as the obliques. Begin in a full push-up position, with shins pressing into the ball. Pull knees into chest, then roll back to start; repeat for 1 minute. Pull both knees up to right elbow, back to center and to left elbow. Continue for 1 minute.

External Oblique Crunch

My must-do move for slimmer sides? The external oblique crunch: Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent, abs engaged, fingertips behind your head and elbows out to sides. Walk legs out a few inches. Curl torso up, bringing right elbow toward right toes, then cross over toward left knee. Slowly return to start. Do 20 reps on one side, then switch.

Pilates Corkscrew

Pilates is one of the best methods for all-around toning. My favorite move is the modified Corkscrew, which zeroes in on the abs, obliques, thighs, and hips. Lie back with arms at sides and straight legs perpendicular to floor, with either a Pilates Flex Circle or a stability ball (anything that adds resistance will work) between your ankles. Without lifting your hips, bring both legs to the right, turning your head to the left. Take a breath, then return to start; switch sides. Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps, squeezing the ring with your thighs. (To buy a Flex Circle, visit pilates.com.)

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2007.

 

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sbot wrote:

ive been working my abs and legs everyday since last xmas and my body feels sort of firm and its slightly toned but im sure by now my body should be completely toned and firm-is it not that way because i strain myself practically everyday?

6/24/2010 04:26:43 PM Report Abuse
donna.p2 wrote:

fab - fabulous or flat all mean the same, great abs

6/3/2010 01:52:45 PM Report Abuse
Trish475 wrote:

I just had to comment on the following line "I've been a fitness editor and exercise physiologist for 17 years, and I just wrote my 34th get-a-better-butt story. I've also written 29 features on getting fab abs." The second last word here is the "fab" short for fabulous or is it a typo for "flat" - I couldn't really figure this out?

6/2/2010 05:38:29 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

Try keeping your abs muscles tight all day, even when you're not exercising. Sit up straight, walk straight, talk, speak...do everything while contracting your abs. I also do stretching exercises, these really help!

6/2/2010 10:46:01 AM Report Abuse
lburnette3 wrote:

I get terrible muscle spasms after exercising my abs. I don't do that many when I can feel the turning beginning. What am I doing wrong?

6/1/2010 11:08:36 AM Report Abuse

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