Bend, tilt and chop your way through a stand-up abdominal-strengthening routine that targets all your core muscles. Avoid the dust bunnies and remain upright with exercises that tighten and tone your stomach. Maybe your core routine needs a change. Abs respond to a variety of stimulation and movements. By altering your workout routine, you'll see changes in the way your abs look, function and feel.
Stand in a clutter-free area with your feet placed hip-distance apart. Tighten your stomach by pulling your belly button toward your back. Straighten your spine to stand tall and look straight ahead.
Rest your arms at your sides and hold onto a light, 3- to 5- pound dumbbell in each hand, if needed. Face your palms toward you. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
Inhale and bend to the right by lowering your ribs toward your hip. Keep your torso facing forward. Slide your right hand down your right leg.
Exhale and return to an upright position. Repeat the bend to the left. Complete eight to 12 side bends to each side to strengthen your obliques.
Stand with your back against a wall. Position your feet approximately 6 inches away from the base of the wall. Rest your upper back, middle back and butt against the wall. Look straight ahead. Keep the arch in your lower back so you have a small space between it and the wall. Relax your arms at your sides.
Exhale, contract your stomach and tilt your hips forward and up so the space between your lower back and the wall disappears. Maintain this position for one second.
Inhale and slowly release the pelvic tilt as you return your body to the starting position.
Repeat the tilt for 15 to 20 repetitions, or for three to five minutes.
Stand tall with your feet slightly apart. Hold on to a dumbbell between both hands with your arms straight along the front of your body.
Exhale and raise the dumbbell toward and slightly higher than your left shoulder. Keep your arms straight as you do this and imagine tossing a full bucket of water over your left shoulder.
Inhale and lower the dumbbell in a diagonal movement across the front of your body toward your right hip. Bend your knees slightly as you lower the dumbbell and rotate your torso to the right.
Exhale and stand tall as you lift the dumbbell toward your left shoulder. Repeat for eight to 12 woodchops on both sides to tone your abdominals.
- The woodchop and side bends may also be performed without any weights. Increase the resistance when you can easily complete 12 repetitions.
- Talk with your doctor before beginning an abdominal-strengthening program, especially if you have a preexisting back condition.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.