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Flat Abs Fast: Core-Sculpting Resistance Workout

Dump the crunches! These 8 belly-flattening ab exercises will take you from squishy to sexy in just 14 days.

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Flat Abs Fast!
Danielle St. Laurent
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How It Works

If you envy A-list abs like Kate Beckinsale's, we've got one word for you: rubber. "Using a resistance tube boosts the firming power of any ab move," says instructor Linda LaRue, who created the Core Transformer class at Equinox Fitness Clubs in Los Angeles and has a list of devoted Hollywood fans including Beckinsale. LaRue put together her best new belly flatteners using this secret-weapon shaper exclusively for FITNESS. Do two sets of each move, working your way up to three sets, on three nonconsecutive days a week. Mix the order every time to really whittle your middle.

What You'll Need: A resistance tube with handles, a sturdy chair

Quick Tube-torial
Resistance tubes come in various color-coded levels, from low resistance (the equivalent of a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell) to high resistance (20 or more pounds). A typical tube is about 4 feet long, like Perform Better's Economy Tubing with Handles ($7.95; performbetter.com). If any move gets too tough using a tube, continue without it -- LaRue says, "Your abs will still get a great workout." Once you've aced this routine, try a tube with heavier resistance for even more definition.

Do the Twist! When crossing the resistance tube into an X shape for each move, twist it around twice before grasping the handles, so the point of intersection is solid. "Twisting the tube increases the pull and resistance on your core," LaRue says, giving your abs maximum toning from every angle. You can aim to start with the X at belly-button level, but "it doesn't matter if the intersection moves around a bit," she adds.

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Rowboat

Targets: Back, triceps, biceps, and abs

-- Sit on floor with knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart, and heels planted.
-- Loop center of tube around arches of feet, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, elbows bent 90 degrees and tucked by sides, palms facing up.
-- Keeping abs tight throughout, lean torso back about 45 degrees and slowly curl handles to shoulders. Make it harder: Hold for 3 seconds.
-- Hinge forward at hips slightly as you extend both arms behind you, keeping elbows close to body, to complete one rep. (Exercise pros can hold here for another 3 seconds.)
-- Do 16 reps.

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Crouching Tiger

Targets: Back, arms, abs, and quads

-- Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides.
-- Crouch down and walk hands forward until you are in full push-up position, arms extended with palms directly under shoulders, legs directly behind you so that you form a straight line from head to heels. (Hold handles lightly by thumbs so that palms can lie flat on floor.)
-- Keeping palms planted and abs tight throughout, press hips back toward heels, bending knees so that they hover just above floor.
-- Straighten legs to return to full push-up position and complete rep.
-- Do 16 reps.

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Baseball Swing

Targets: Shoulders, back, arms, abs, and obliques

-- Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides.
-- Bend knees slightly in a half squat and bring both handles together in front of you, elbows slightly bent, palms nearly touching. Make it easier: Cup both hands around both handles as if they were fused together.
-- Keeping elbows bent, bring both hands together over right shoulder as you rotate torso to right, pivoting on left toes and straightening both legs.
-- Slowly return to half-squat position.
-- Do 8 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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Hooray Squat

Targets: Chest, arms, abs, butt, and quads

-- Stand with feet hip-width apart and your back to a sturdy chair; place feet through tube handles (like stirrups) so that soles press handles to floor.
-- Cross tube once or twice in front of you, then hold center of tube with both hands in front of chest, elbows bent by sides, palms facing forward. (Either grasp tube or notch it between thumb and forefinger and keep hands open, as shown.)
-- Squat to sit in chair, then immediately stand up, pressing arms directly overhead to stretch tube.
-- Return to seated squat, lowering hands to chest level again, and repeat.
-- Do 16 reps.

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Upstream Swim

Targets: Shoulders, back, arms, and abs

-- Stand with feet close together on center of tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides.
-- Squat, hinging forward at hips so that back is nearly parallel to floor with arms extended down.
-- Simultaneously lift left arm in front of you and right arm behind you until both are parallel to floor, palms facing down.
-- Hold for 1 to 3 counts, then lower.
-- Do 16 reps, alternating sides.

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Tubing Half-Teaser

Target: Abs

-- Lie faceup on floor with right knee bent, foot flat, and left leg extended toward ceiling. Fold tube in half, then loop it around left arch and grasp ends together with both hands.
-- Roll torso off floor slowly to sit up; try to use abs, rather than pulling with arms, by drawing navel into spine.
-- Hold for 1 to 3 counts, then engage abs to roll slowly back down to start.
-- Do 8 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

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Cat's Cradle

Targets: Abs and obliques

-- Stand with feet hip-width apart and your back to a chair; put feet through tube handles.
-- Cross tube once or twice in front of you, then hold its center with both hands in front of chest, elbows bent by sides, palms facing forward. (Grasp tube or notch it as shown.)
-- Sit near edge of seat and lean torso back 45 degrees as you lift legs off floor, knees bent 90 degrees, until feet are at seat level.
-- Extend right leg forward as you rotate torso left to bring right elbow toward left knee.
-- Switch sides, bringing left elbow to right knee to complete 1 rep. Do 8 reps.

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Resistance Side Plank

Targets: Shoulders, chest, back, abs, and obliques

-- Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides.
-- Crouch down and walk hands forward to get in full push-up position.
-- Shift body weight into left hand and rotate extended right arm to reach for ceiling while keeping shoulders down.
-- Hold for 1 to 3 counts, then return to full push-up.
-- Do 16 reps, alternating arms.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2010.

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tamiann.serafino wrote:

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3/26/2013 12:47:11 PM Report Abuse
robertdickins wrote:

Great post! I've struggled with stomach fat my hole life until I found this one secret that completely transformed my body in 6 months: working on all muscles instead of abs, will burn the fat from your belly 5 times faster. Check my full story on 6packstory.com/me

3/19/2013 11:35:26 AM Report Abuse
tearsofice21 wrote:

does anyone know if you can do these exercises with a resistance band that doesn't have handles??

6/22/2010 10:31:15 PM Report Abuse
eunicenunez_4 wrote:

OH!! and I like it has a video 2 show u how in case I get lost.Thank you Fitness Mag.

4/16/2010 04:09:23 PM Report Abuse
eunicenunez_4 wrote:

This is my 1st time doing this work out,and I like it,it makes me sweat thats how I know im doing it right.

4/16/2010 04:08:13 PM Report Abuse
liviy2028 wrote:

what if you dont have the material you need for the exercises?

3/23/2010 09:56:13 AM Report Abuse
holly4barrel wrote:

I world really like a workout that directly addresses the issue of people with diabetic peripferiol neuropayth. I am not the only person out here that has it and I'm guessing that they would like some help too. Holly Powers

2/8/2010 03:11:15 PM Report Abuse

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