Spring is near. That means it is time to work on that little bulge that has been taking up residence around the midsection all winter. These several exercises can help you shed that excess turkey weight and flatten out that stomach in time for beach season. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
For this abdominal exercise, you will need to lie supine (face down) on the floor. Prop your upper body up on your forearms so that your elbows make a ninety degree angle and are positioned directly below your shoulders. Now lift your body up off the floor so that your lower body is supported by your toes, while your upper body remains supported by your elbows. Your body should basically be a straight line, with no arch or drooping through your back. Hold this position for 60 seconds (yes, 1 minute), then lower your body back to the floor. Repeat twice.
This exercise is a variation on the previous one, and begins in the same starting position. Once you are positioned properly, roll to your right side, keeping your torso supported with your right forearm. You will have to raise your hips and roll your feet so that your left foot is on top of your right. As in the plank, your body will be a straight line, but this time you will be on one side. Place your left hand on your hip and hold the plank position for 30 seconds. Return to start and repeat on the left side.
We thought you might be tired of doing all of your abdominal exercises on the floor, so we came up with a standing one. Position your feet a few inches apart. Put your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows at a ninety degree angle so your fingertips are pointing to the ceiling and your palm are facing forward. Contract your abdominals and lift your right knee toward your left elbow, while at the same time bringing your left elbow down toward your right knee. Touch the two joints together, pause, then return to start. Switch sides and repeat 20 times on each leg. Want to ramp it up? Jump up when bringing your knee to your elbow.