A Tutorial on Butterfly Kicks

Butterfly kicks can help strengthen your abs and lower back.

Butterfly kicks can help strengthen your abs and lower back.

If you're craving sculpted, toned abs, you'll need to burn calories through a combination of diet and exercise. Cardiovascular exercise such as running can help you burn abdominal fat, but targeted abdominal training will help you get the tight abs you want. The flutter kick is a relatively easy abdominal exercise that even beginners can master.

Lie on your back flat on the floor. Your arms should be extended straight downward and your body should be straight, but not stiff.

Engage your abdominal muscles by pushing the small of your back into the ground. You should feel slight stretching in your abs. Flex your abs while lifting both legs about 6 inches off of the ground.

Raise your right leg slowly, using your abdominal muscles, until your foot points toward the ceiling. Some people need to bend their knees slightly to accomplish this. If you can't raise your leg all the way, raise it as high as you can without feeling pain. Then lower your leg until it is about 6 inches off of the ground. Repeat with your left leg. Perform four to five reps on each side, and gradually work up to more reps as you gain strength.

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About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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