3 Pilates Moves for Super Hot Abs

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Want an extra challenge. . .and an even sleeker stomach? Add these calorie-torching “afterburner” ab moves to your workout. And then check out Brooke Siler’s incredible book, The Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates, for even more toning and whittlingPilates workouts.

 

MOVE 1Kneeling Butterfly
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Beth Bischoff

Kneel on the mat facing away from the anchor, knees hip-width apart. Raise your arms out to shoulder height and lean forward slightly, keeping your body in a straight line from head to knees (a). Inhale and twist your torso to the left, pulling the right handle overhead and the left just behind your hip, maintaining equal tension in the bands as you twist(b). Exhale and slowly return to start. Repeat, twisting to the other side. That’s one rep. Do four.

Quick Tip: Brace your core and squeeze your glutes before you start.

MOVE 2Side-Bend Arm Circles
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Beth Bischoff

Holding both ends of the bands, walk your knees farther away from the anchor for more tension, then bend to the side toward the anchor and place your inside fist on the floor; extend your top leg away from you and raise the band overhead (a). Keeping your core tight, inhale and draw your arm above your top hip (b), then exhale as you continue to circle the band around (c) until your hand returns to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat three times and then repeat three full circles in the opposite direction.

Quick Tip: Keep your hip directly over your knee throughout the exercise.

MOVE 3Lotus
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Beth Bischoff

Grab the band’s handle with your right hand and kneel at the far end of the mat. With your right side facing the anchor, raise both arms to shoulder height(a). Inhale and raise both arms overhead, trying to touch your hands together (b). Exhale and slowly return to start. Do four reps per side.

Women’s Health Magazine

The Waist-Cinching Workout for Toned Abs and Obliques

Give your workout routine a new twist—literally. These six moves hit all of your major muscle groups with extra emphasis on your obliques to whittle your middle. Move from one exercise to the next without resting, then repeat this four-minute circuit three times with a 1-minute break in between sets. In less than 15 minutes, you’ll be on your way to defining your waist. All you’ll need: a 6- to 10-pound medicine ball or dumbbell.

—Amy Roberts, NASM-CPT

MOVE 1Criss-Cross Jacks
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Jen Weaver

Get your heart rate pumping with this variation to the standard jumping jack. Jump out to widen your feet and send your arms into a T position (A), then jump in, crossing your legs and your arms (B). Repeat, alternating the cross of your hands and feet. Do 20 reps.

MOVE 2Squat To Twisting Overhead Press
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Jen Weaver

Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell goblet-style in front of your chest (A). Sit back into your squat (weight in your heels, sending your butt back) (B). As you stand, press your arms straight up while twisting your torso so you’re turned to one side (C). Squat again, straightening out your upper body on the way down; on the way up, press and twist to the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 8-10 reps.

MOVE 3Plank Curl-Unders
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Jen Weaver

Set yourself in a plank position, placing a dumbbell in line with the heel of your left palm. Shift your weight into your left hand and reach for the weight with your right hand (A). Pick up the weight and pivot up into a side plank, raising the weight toward the ceiling with your arms in a T position (B). Rotate your arm back down so your right hand curls under your left forearm(C). Do 8-10 reps then switch sides. (Plank too tough? Try it on your hands and knees.)

MOVE 4High-Knee Corkscrews
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Jen Weaver

Standing up straight, raise one knee and bend the opposite elbow (A), twisting at your midsection to bring the two joints to tap. Repeat to the opposite side (B). Do 20 reps.

MOVE 5Reverse Lunge with Side Twist
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Jen Weaver

Stand with your feet parallel, holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your stomach (A). Step one foot backward into a lunge (B), and turn your torso so the weight crosses your front leg (C). Step forward to start position. Alternate sides for 8-10 reps. (Make it harder by doing all reps on one side then switching.)

MOVE 6Twisted Box Pushups
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Jen Weaver

Stand with your feet together, in line with a box and a few feet away from it. Place your hands against the box, then turn your torso so you’re resting on the outside of one foot with your legs stacked (A). From this position, do 8-10 pushups (B). Repeat on the other side. (You can make this move easier by doing the pushups against a wall.)

Why Surfer Chicks Have Amazing Bodies

The key pillars of fitness that help give competitive surfers an edge—muscular endurance, balance, core stability, and total-body strength—can help you score a bangin’ bod even if you have no plans to hang ten. Just practice a few of these land-based moves from Rocky Snyder, author of Fit to Surf: The Surfer’s Guide to Strength & Conditioning.

Heart and Lungs

Pro move: Tread water, then rush to catch the next big wave.

Steal it: Add 30-to 45-second high-intensity intervals eight to 12 times throughout a steady-state cardio workout.

Legs and Butt

Pro move: Keep a low center of gravity to stay up on the board.

Steal it: Do as many staggered squats (one foot in front of the other) as you can in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times, alternating your leg positions in each set.

Arms

Pro move: Paddle like crazy.

Steal it: Do straight-arm pulldowns with a cable machine or resistance band; pull the handles from high in front of you down to your thighs.

Core

Pro move: Use core and upper-body strength to pop up onto the board quickly.

Steal it: Lower your body all the way to the floor during burpees, then see how fast you can get back to start.

photo: Shutterstock.com

Published on June 10th, 2013
Women’s Health Magazine

4 Moves to a Flat Belly

The body part you can’t stomach? Your stomach, according to our poll. Tighten and trim your waistline with these four ab-sculpting moves from trainer David Kirsch.

Stability-Ball Jackknife

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and place your shins on a stability ball. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels (a). Keeping your back flat, slowly bend your knees toward your chest (b). Pause, then return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 to 20.

Stability-Ball Hand-Offs

Grab a light dumbbell in your right hand and position your shoulders on a stability ball, feet flat on the floor. Form a straight line from knees to shoulders and lift the weight above your right shoulder (a). Raise your shoulders, bring the weight to your left thigh, and grab it with your left hand (b). Reverse the move to return to start. Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.

Reverse Oblique Crunch

Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides, palms down, legs raised, and knees slightly bent (a). Lift your hips and twist them slightly to the right (b). Return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat on the left side; continue alternating for 15 to 20 reps.

Side Plank with Rear Fly

Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and prop yourself up on your left forearm so your body is in a straight line. Hold the weight out in front of you at shoulder level (a). Slowly raise the weight toward the ceiling, arm straight, pulling your shoulder blades together (b). Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 to 20, then switch sides and repeat.

photo: Beth Bischoff

Published on June 5th, 2013

The Five-Minute Flat-Abs Workout

Not only do traditional crunches target just one of your main core muscles, but after a few minutes of the repetitive motion, that muscle fatigues and other areas (like your hip flexors and neck) take over to compensate. “The exercises below are better–they activate your abdominal wall from all angles, targeting your entire core in fewer moves,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery.

Do it: Starting with the first exercise, complete the given number of reps, then immediately continue to the next move. Repeat until you’ve finished the entire workout.

Move 1: Stability-Ball Rollout

Kneel in front of a stability ball with your knees hip-width apart and your forearms on the ball (a). With a flat back, brace your core and slowly roll the ball forward as far as you can without dropping your hips (b). Pause, then bend your elbows to roll the ball back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10.

Move 2: Stability-Ball Pike

Start with your shins on top of the ball, arms straight, hands shoulder-width apart on the floor (a). Brace your abs and keep your legs straight as you raise your hips toward the ceiling, drawing the ball toward you (b). Pause, then slowly roll back to start That’s one rep. Do 10.

Move 3: Lying Leg Extension

Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees, hands outside your shins and shoulders lifted off the floor (a). Straighten your legs in front of you and bring your arms back next to your ears (b) Pause, then reverse the move. That’s one rep. Do 10.

Move 4: Rotating Side Plank

Start in plank position (a). Rotate your body and roll onto your left forearm, stacking your right foot on top of your left in a left side plank (b). Hold for one or two seconds, then return to start; pause, then repeat on the other side. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.

Published on April 18th, 2013