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Get rock-solid abs by July 4th

OMG! We’re psyched that Elisabeth Halfpapp, co-founder of Exhale Mind Body Spa shared this fab ab workout with us. Plus, she shares exactly why it’s key to have a tight core.
Do these ab exercises 4 times a week for 10 minutes and weeks you’ll start seeing results in four weeks.
Fly Up: Targets abs
- Sit on floor on a folded towel, lean back to rest on elbows and place feet hip-width apart on wall in front of you so that knees are bent about 90 degrees.
- Press rounded lower back into floor and squeeze abs as you extend legs up, keeping feet against wall and lifting arms to reach toward feet.  To make it harder: Really press feet into wall as you extend legs.
- Do 20 pulses: curl torso up 1 inch then lower 1 inch.
- Do 3 sets, hugging knees to chest to rest between sets.

Twisted Curl: Targets abs, obliques
- Sit on floor on a folded towel with knees bent and feet flat, then lean back to rest on elbows.
- Press rounded lower back into floor, squeeze abs and curl torso up toward left, lifting arms so that both hands grasp outside of left thigh.
- Maintaining curl, release hands so that both hover to outside of thigh and do 20 pulses: Curl torso up toward left by 1 inch then lower 1 inch.
- Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets. 

Side Plank-up: Targets abs, obliques, inner thighs
- Lie on right side on floor with legs stacked and a rolled-up towel between thighs, propping torso up on right elbow so that right forearm pointing in front of you. MAKE IT EASIER: Stagger feet so that side of left foot is on floor in front of right for a wider base of support.
- Lift hips so that body forms a straight line from head to toe, squeezing towel between thighs. Hold for 1 count, then lower.
- Do 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do three sets.  

C-Curve: Targets abs, quads, inner thighs
- Stand facing a wall with legs together, squeezing rolled-up towel between thighs. 
With knees slightly bent, hinge forward at hips to place palms on wall, arms extended, so that back is nearly parallel to floor.
- Squeeze abs and towel as you rise onto toes, then do 20 pulses: Lower hips one inch then back up. MAKE IT HARDER: Start with knees bent 90 degrees so that hips are closer to knee level, then pulse.
- Do 3 sets.

Plus, 5 reasons why having tight abs is good for ya (other than feeling fab in your bikini).

1. Decreased lower back pain and tightness
2. Better posture
3. Less upper back/shoulder tension
4. Great core strength for all your sports and activities
5. Confidence!

BY ELISABETH HALFPAPP ON 6/10/2011 12:00:00 PM


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