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Alison Sweeney's Flat-Abs Workout

The key to Alison Sweeney's crazy-toned midsection? This sneaky crunch-free circuit. "In each workout, we string together movements -- push and pull, up and down, left and right -- that always work her center," says Sweeney's trainer, Steve Lee. Try a couple of rounds of his five-pack below to help carve your six-pack as you sculpt all over. Alison uses 12-pound dumbbells, but newbies can start with five-pounders.

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Brian Bowen Smith
Brian Bowen Smith
Brian Bowen Smith
Brian Bowen Smith
Push-Up to Plank Row exercise
Brian Bowen Smith
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Jump Lunge and Curl

You can either do this circuit straight through or pair some of the exercises to create killer combo moves like these from Lee:

Squat Military Press + Sprawl to Overhead Lock

Sumo High Row + Push-Up to Plank Row

Jump Lunge and Curl + Sprawl to Overhead Lock

Jump Lunge and Curl

Targets shoulders, biceps, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand holding dumbbells, arms by sides.
  • Lunge or jump back with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees, as you curl dumbbells to shoulders, palms facing each other.
  • Step right leg forward to return to standing and punch forward with left arm, palm facing right.
  • Lower arms to start and repeat, this time lunging or jumping back with left leg and punching with right arm. Do as many reps as you can for 1 minute, alternating sides.

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Squat Military Press

Targets shoulders, arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides.
  • Squat down and then stand up quickly, bending elbows to bring dumbbells up in front of shoulders, palms facing forward.
  • Immediately press arms straight overhead.
  • Lower arms to start. Do as many reps as you can for 1 minute.

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Sprawl to Overhead Lock

Targets back, shoulders, arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides.
  • Crouch down and, holding onto dumbbells, place them on floor shoulder-width apart with palms facing each other. Jump feet back to get in full plank position as you drive your core close to floor (without touching thighs to floor).
  • Jump feet forward to outside of dumbbells.
  • Stand up quickly and press dumbbells overhead.
  • Lower arms and return to start position. Do as many reps as you can for 1 minute.

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Sumo High Row

Targets back, shoulders, biceps, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, toes turned slightly out, and hold dumbbells in front of hips, palms facing in.
  • Squat down and then stand up quickly, driving bent elbows up above shoulders to bring dumbbells close to chin.
  • Lower arms to start. Do as many reps as you can for 1 minute.

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Push-Up to Plank Row

Targets back, triceps, biceps, chest, and abs

  • Get in full plank position on floor, a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other.
  • Do a push-up, returning to full plank.
  • Immediately drive bent right elbow behind you, bringing dumbbell by ribs. Return dumbbell to floor (holding it throughout) and repeat with left arm to complete 1 rep.
  • Do as many reps as you can for 1 minute.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2013.

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