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Get Slim Without the Gym: Ab Flatteners

Get flat abs with these ab exercises you can do at home.

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Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Plank Pike
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
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Twist 'n' Shout

Targets Back, arms, abs, obliques, and legs

  • Stand on discs with feet hip-width apart, holding one end of band in each hand, arms by sides.
  • Lift heels (coming up on tiptoes), bend knees slightly, and raise arms to shoulder level in front of you with elbows bent out to sides, band tight.
  • Keeping back straight and abs engaged, twist upper body and lower body in opposite directions, moving from hips, rotating discs under toes. Continue for 1 minute.

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Pull-Down

Targets: Back, arms, abs, obliques, and hips

  • Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, holding one end of band in each hand, arms by sides.
  • Lift arms overhead, pulling band tight, and point right toes out to side.
  • Keeping left arm still, engage obliques, pull right elbow down to side, and lift right knee to meet it.
  • Extend right arm and leg without touching toes to floor. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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Plank Pike

Targets: Shoulders, back, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Place dumbbells on floor shoulder-width apart. Get in full push-up position, with hands grasping weights under shoulders, palms facing in and a disc under each foot.
  • Keeping abs engaged and legs straight, pull toes in toward hands, pushing butt up until body forms an inverted V (pike).
  • Slide feet back to push-up position. Rotate body to right, lifting right arm (and dumbbell) straight toward ceiling, directly over shoulder.
  • Return to full push-up. Repeat combo to left side to complete 1 rep. Do 5 reps.

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Balancing Act

Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Lie faceup on ball with your back on its center and feet flat on floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Extend arms out to sides at shoulder level, palms up. Maintaining balance with abs engaged, extend left leg at hip level in front of you and raise right arm toward ceiling, directly over shoulder; lower arm and leg. (To make it easier, just extend left leg without raising right arm.)
  • Switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2009.

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FITNESS Magazine July/August 2009
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