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FEATURE FRIDAY: Body Blast Abs

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This summer, don’t fear the two-piece. We have fab ab moves to tummy-tone. Still, working your waist isn’t all about lookin’ good at the beach.…

“Abdominal strength gives you more stability to stand up straighter, giving you better posture,” fitness trainer Andrea Partland tells us. Plus, “the more fat you carry around your midsection, the more pressure it puts on your heart.” Andrea recommends warming up with the first two exercises below, then going right into the tough stuff. You should do ab workouts for about 15 to 25 minutes, four to six times a week.

PELVIC TILTS
Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Feet should be planted on the floor, with arms by your sides. Tighten ab muscles, and slowly lift butt off the floor. Your upper body will form a diagonal line down from your knees. Hold for a sec. Slowly lower back to the floor. Do 15 to 20 reps.

KNEES AND ELBOWS
Lie on your back, with hands clasped behind your head. Lift your knees, head and shoulders off the floor. Crunch up until knees and elbows touch. Slowly lower yourself, without letting feet or shoulders touch the floor. Repeat 20 times without stopping.

BICYCLES
Lie on your back, with hands clasped behind your head and legs extended. Keep abs tight, and lift legs about an inch off the floor. Slowly bend your right knee, and twist your left elbow across until the two touch. Slowly straighten right leg, and return left side of body down to the mat. Repeat on opposite side. Do 30 on each side.

SCISSORS
Lie on your back with your hands planted on the floor underneath your butt. Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor, while raising legs straight into the air (your body will be in an L shape). Split your legs, with the right leg going closer to the floor and left leg toward your belly. Exhale and switch legs. Do 20 reps. Too easy? Do 20 more.

LEG RAISES
Lie on your back with your hands on the floor under your butt. Leaving head and shoulders on the ground, raise both legs up until your body forms an L shape. Slowly lower both legs down until feet are an inch above the floor. Slowly raise them back to start. Repeat 15 to 20 times.

SINGLE LEG STRETCH
Lie on your back, with your arms and legs straight up in the air. Tighten abs, then lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor. Grasp your right leg with both hands. Slowly lower your left leg until it almost touches the mat. Raise leg up. Repeat the move on the other side. Do 15 on each side.

4/11/2008 12:00:00 PM
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