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4 Weeks to Gorgeous Abs Workout

  • Dorit Thies

    Transversus Abdominus: Scrabble Ball

    What you'll need: A stability ball, a pair of 2- to 5-pound dumbbells, and a mat.

    • Get into plank position with hands under shoulders, legs extended, back straight, and feet on top of a stability ball, forming a line from head to heels.
    • Keeping abs tight, roll ball under feet to spell out the letters of the alphabet.
    • Aim to spell up to O.
    • As you advance, try to make it all the way to Z.
  • Dorit Thies

    Transversus Abdominus: Horizontal Plank

    • Get into plank position on mat (hands under shoulders, legs extended, feet hip-width apart, back straight, abs engaged), holding a dumbbell in left hand.
    • Slowly lift left arm straight out to side at shoulder height, keeping hips and core still.
    • Lower arm.
    • Do 10 reps, staying in plank.
    • Switch arms; repeat.
  • Dorit Thies

    Rectus Abdominus: V Rock and Roll

    • Lie faceup on mat with legs together, toes pointed and arms extended overhead by ears, hands stacked (like you're about to dive into a pool).
    • Engage abs and lift both legs and shoulders about 6 inches off ground, slowly rocking body back and forth.
    • Do 10 reps.
  • Dorit Thies

    Rectus Abdominus: Stand-Up

    • Stand with back to mat, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell vertically at chest with both hands.
    • Squat to sit down.
    • As soon as butt touches mat, bring knees into chest and roll onto shoulder blades.
  • Dorit Thies

    Obliques: Around the World

    • Lie back on top of a stability ball, butt slightly off edge of ball, feet hip-width apart on ground.
    • Extend arms overhead in line with ears.
    • Rotate upper body in a circular motion to the right, up, left and back, keeping abs tight.
    • Do 10 full circles.
    • Switch sides; repeat.
  • Dorit Thies

    Obliques: Windshield Wipers

    • Lie faceup with legs extended over hips, arms extended at shoulders, abs engaged.
  • Dorit Thies

    Lower Back, Hips (Iliopsoas), Glutes: Glute Bridge

    • Lie faceup on mat with arms by sides, knees bent and feet flat.
    • Engage abs and glutes and slowly press hips toward sky, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders.
    • Hold for 3 counts; lower.
    • Do 12 reps.
    • For a challenge, do the bridge with one leg lifted.
  • Dorit Thies

    Lower Back, Hips (Iliopsoas), Glutes: Ball Opposites

    • Lie facedown on top of a stability ball with palms on ground under shoulders, legs extended, and toes on ground.
    • Squeeze glutes to lift right leg straight up while extending left arm out in front, keeping abs tight, shoulders relaxed, and head in line with spine.
    • Hold for 1 count; lower.
    • Switch sides; repeat.
    • Do 16 reps, alternating sides.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July 2008.