To Your Health
February, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 02)
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6. The Toe Touch

Background
This is another great exercise for your upper abs, and you can easily make it even more challenging by lowering your legs with each repetition. This will recruit your lower abs along with your upper abs.

Starting Position
Lie flat on your back with your legs up in the air and your arms outstretched above your head.

Movement
Exhale as you raise your arms up and reach your toes. Hold yourself in this contracted position for a moment, and then inhale as you slowly lower your arms back down until they almost touch the mat. Repeat your required repetitions before allowing your legs to touch back down onto the mat.

7. Alternating Toe Touch

Background
This exercise is a variation of the toe touch.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Starting Position
Same as the toe touch.

Movement
Same movement as the toe touch except as you raise your arms up to your feet, reach your left arm to your right foot. Hold yourself in the contracted position for a moment, and then slowly lower your left arm back down. Repeat with right arm to left foot.

8. The Hanging Leg Raise

Background
Although this exercise can be very challenging and is not recommended for beginners, it is very effective. It focuses on your lower abs, tightening up that stubborn area.

Starting Position
Position yourself in a "power tower" (also known as a knee-raise machine or knee-raise station) by placing your elbows against the pads and gripping the lower handles, or gripping the overhead handles and allowing yourself to hang.

Movement
Exhale as you raise your knees toward your chest. Remember to keep your back flat against the back pad, or if hanging, try to keep yourself from swinging. Hold yourself in this contracted position for a moment, and then inhale as you slowly return your legs back down to the starting position.


 




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