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Advanced abs exercises

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Advanced Core Training

If your usual crunches and twists aren't meeting your toned tummy desires, it's time to step up the intensity of your core training. Changing your abs routine and incorporating the stability ball into your workouts will challenge your core muscles differently -- and better -- than the typical dozens of crunches. Fabio Comana, MA, MS, exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends the following four advanced ab exercises to give you that sleek torso you seek.

Stability Ball Pikes

"A more challenging advanced exercise, Stability Ball Pikes target the core but recruit slightly different muscles in the trunk — namely the abdominals, which contract isometrically to stabilize the trunk, and the hip flexors, which need to put in quite a bit of work to move the body," says Comana. "This exercise will also require a little quad work to keep the knees extended."

Step 1: Lie on your stomach over the top of a stability ball with both hands and feet on the floor, hip- and shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Contract your core muscles to stiffen your torso and slowly walk yourself forward, lifting your legs off the floor and gently exhaling.

Step 3: Continue walking forward until your toes, which should be pointed towards your shins, rest on the top of the ball. Pull your shoulders back and down until your arms are fully extended, hands positioned directly under your shoulders.
Advanced Core Training

Step 4: Exhale and pull your feet towards your chest, keeping your legs fully extended and rolling the ball forward as your hips move upwards. Think about lifting your rear towards the ceiling while hinging at the hips. Continue moving until you are inverted, with hips directly above your shoulders, legs, torso and arms fully extended, and head between your arms. Your toes should remain on the top of the ball, but your ankles can move so that your toes are pointed away from your shins. Hold briefly before inhaling and slowly lowering yourself back towards your starting position.
Advanced Core Training

Next page…Stability Ball Russian Twist

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