If you want the ABsolute best woman to teach you how to get great abs, here she is—my old (and dear) friend Debbie Lee. Debbie is the Director of Marketing at the Gainesville Health & Fitness Center (which has been ranked many times as one of the top health clubs in the world). Debbie is also a Group Exercise Instructor in Gainesville and has the best abs in town to prove it. At 48 years old she even puts some college students at the University of Florida to shame!
When I asked Debbie to come up with three of her favorite AB exercises for my blog, she chose these because they can be performed at both a beginner and an advanced level. These exercises call for a variety of different movements that allow you to strengthen your entire abdominal region. And, since they’re a little different from the traditional crunches that you probably have been doing, these exercises will help keep you from getting bored.
If you have back pain or any other orthopedic problem, you may need to modify these exercises by bending your knees. If you feel any pain while doing these exercises, stop immediately and consult your local exercise specialist or physician.
- KILLER CROSS CRUNCH: This move requires a tremendous amount of control. Do this exercise (and the other ones) very slowly to optimize your results. Lie on your back with your legs straight and wide. Put your left arm over your head and keep it “glued” to your ear until you reach for your foot. Curl straight up without bending your knees or moving your legs. Rotate your torso and reach for your opposite foot. Slowly lower your torso with your arm positioned by your ear again. Repeat on the same side for 10-12 repetitions. Repeat on the opposite side.
Advanced Option: The exercise is exactly the same, except you cross your feet at the ankles with your knees wide (like sitting Indian Style).
2. SIDE PLANK: Lie on your right side with legs extended and right forearm on the ground, with your elbow positioned under your shoulder. Extend your left arm to the ceiling. Raise your left hip towards the ceiling as high as you can then slowly lower back to the starting position. Do 10-12 reps on each side. If this is too difficult for you, modify the move by bending your knees.
Advanced Option: Get in your starting position. Raise your top leg, then slowly tap your foot on the floor to the front and to the back while keeping your hips stationary.
3. CAN CAN: This is called the CAN CAN because you CAN DO THIS!! It’s not called the CAN’T CAN’T so try this even though it looks hard. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and lean back placing forearms and hands flat on the ground. Keeping legs together let your knees drop down to the right, towards the ground. While in this rotated position, straighten your legs, pause, bend your knees then rotate back to center. Alternate between your left and right sides for 8 reps.
Advanced Option: You CAN straighten your arms with your fingers pointing back to make this a lot harder. But we really don’t feel the advanced option is necessary.
Take this Challenge: Do these exercises with me every other day for 2 weeks. Post a comment to let me know how much stronger you feel!
Get Strong and Smile,
Thanks for this article. I like only having to think about three different exercises. It is something I can committ to.
Thanks for making it simple Molly. I’ll work on it.