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Best No-Sit Up Ab Exercises


Yes, you can have a beach-worthy set of abs without succumbing to torturous sit-ups!

When it comes to bathing suits, what is your main area of concern? If you’re the average woman or man, it’s likely your stomach. The suns’ piping hot and you can’t hide under a sweater any more. But before you strip down to your skivvies, it’s probably a good idea that you spend a few minutes a day tending to your soon-to-be best assets—your abs. Great thing is, you don’t have to hit the gym, lift a weight, or even do a sit-up to have a head-turning stomach.

But before you start flexing those muscles, it’s important that you understand a few belly basics…
Your abdominals are actually a long sheet of muscle that starts right below your chest and end a few inches below your belly button. More than looking good (or not) in a swimsuit, your abs support your back and help your posture. They also contribute to a strong lower back and in-line spine. But the honest truth about abs is that no matter how many ab exercises you do, you will not attain a flat tummy unless you remove the layer of fat on top of it. How? Cardio and Diet!

Your obliques are muscles that run diagonally down the sides of your abdominal. They are the enablers of the twisting motion. They also work with the other abdominal and back muscles to support your spine.

STANDING ABDOMINAL EXTENSIONS (Lengthens and Strengthens Abs)
Starting Position
–Stand with your right side angled 45-degrees to a counter. Place your right hand on the counter and raise your left arm straight up at a 120-degree angle into the air.
–Extend your left leg straight behind you, with your big toe touching the floor.
Movement
–Keep your torso straight as you bend your left knee and bring it up to your chest as you simultaneously pull your left elbow in to meet your knee at your stomach.
–Return your arm and leg to the starting position.
Repeat 32 times. The faster you work the harder your heart works.

STANDING CRUNCHES
Starting Position
Maintaining the same standing position as above, pull your left knee in to your chest and bend your left arm down to meet the knee, but this time, don’t return your arm and leg to the original position (so your knee and elbow should meet near your stomach).
Movement
–Using your lower abdominals, hold your left knee bent up at chest level and pulse it with small lifts up and down (this movement is only 6 inches- just below the waist line and just above the waist line).
–Simultaneously, pulse your bent left elbow down and up to meet your knee.
Repeat 16 times.

SIDE STANDING CRUNCHES
Starting Position
Stay in the same position as above, but this time, move your knee and elbow turned out to your side.
Movement
Continually pump your knee and elbow together with small movements.
Repeat 16 times.
Switch legs and do the entire standing routine again on the new leg.

Now that your abs are a bit roughed up and hopefully starting to feel sore, it’s time to lay down on the floor. Not to worry, there are no sit-ups in sight. This set is all about Plank! Yes, the yoga pose, also known as the “top of a pushup,” is a surprisingly intense full body strength practice, placing particular focus on the abs.

PLANK
–Lay face down on the floor or mat. Place your hands on the mat directly beneath your shoulders. Flex your feet so that your toes and balls of your feet are the only part of your feet on the mat.
–Push your arms straight, keeping your entire body straight without hyper-extending your knees or elbows, or arching your back so that you are in a “top of a push up.”
–Exhale all of the air out and feel the flex in your abs. Hold that flex and continue to breathe evenly out of your nose- the more oxygen you give your muscles, the longer you will be able to hold the pose.
–Hold for 60-90 seconds before slowly and carefully bending your elbows and lowering yourself back down to the ground.

SIDE PLANK
–Start in the “top of a pushup” position as above.
–Slowly and with control, shift your weight onto your left hand as you stack your right leg ontop of your left and rotate your body as you raise your right hand straight up into the air. You will be angled in a straight line with only your left hand and side of your left foot on the floor.
–Contract your abdominal muscles, pulling them in and up while contracting your butt muscles to further help you with stability and balance. Hold that flex and continue to breathe evenly out of your nose- the more oxygen you give your muscles, the longer you will be able to hold the pose.
–Hold for 60-90 seconds before slowly and carefully bending your elbows and lowering yourself back down to the ground.
–Return to Plank and Repeat on the other side

REVERSE PLANK
–Sit on the mat with your legs straight in front of you, your arms straight down along your body with your palms on the floor with your fingers pointing toward your legs.
–Lift your butt up off the floor, raising it up so that you are a straight line from your feet to your head. Your hands and feet are the only things on the floor.
–Contract your abdominal muscles, pulling them in and up while contracting your butt muscles to further help you with stability and balance. Hold that flex and continue to breathe evenly out of your nose- the more oxygen you give your muscles, the longer you will be able to hold the pose.
–Hold for 60-90 seconds before slowly and carefully lower your back down to the ground.

Repeat these exercises every other day and you will be bikini-worthy in no time!

 

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