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4 Ways to Use a Medicine Ball for Seriously Strong Abs

Trainer Robin Arzon is a Head Coach at Peloton Cycle in NYC, an ultramarathoner (she did 5 marathons in 5 days across Utah), and all-around crazy-fit human being. If you're bored of wimpy crunches or holding planks for what feels like an eternity, you've met your match. Arzon has four exercises that will make your stomach scream for mercy in just two minutes. Grab a medicine ball, some free floor space, and get to it.

1. Russian Twists

Start in a seated position on the floor with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Lift knees so that shins are parallel to the floor and form a 90-degree angle with thighs. Hold a medicine ball in front of chest with back straight and elbows out to the side. Twist entire upper body from one side to the other, squeezing obliques. Continue for 30 seconds.

2. Toe Taps

Lie down with back flat on the ground. Extend legs straight above hips, toes pointed to the ceiling. Holding your shoulders one inch above the floor,  extend the medicine ball straight above chest. Squeezing abs, reach the ball as far as possible towards your toes. Continue for 30 seconds.

3. Jackknife

Lie down with back flat on the ground. Making sure lower back is flat on the floor, extend legs and hold them a few inches above the floor. Hold your shoulders one inch above the floor, and extend arms above head, biceps next to ears. Squeezing abs and exhaling, lift medicine ball and toes to meet. Slowly lower arms and legs back down to starting position without touching the floor. Continue for 30 seconds.  

4. Modified Jackknife

Start in seated position with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Place medicine ball between knees, and lift feet so that thighs and shins for a 90-degree angle with shins parallel to the floor. Place palms behind sit bones for support. Keeping your chest open, back straight, and gaze forward, pulse knees into chest, squeezing the medicine ball throughout the movement. For an extra challenge, lift palms off the floor. Continue for 30 seconds. 


Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital assistant editor for Shape and Fitness. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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