Would you like Jennifer Aniston's toned tummy, but dread the thought of crunches? You can get the abs you want without ever getting down on the floor.
"Your core is your powerhouse," says Jaime Wood, fitness manager at Virtua's William G. Rohrer Center for Health Fitness. "While toned abs LOOK great, a strong core also is important for balance and stability. Wood recommends these three "no-floor," core-strengthening abs exercises from the American Council on Exercise (click on each for detailed instructions with photos):
- Invert flyers: strengthens the core through balance
- Standing wood chop: a functional movement using a medicine ball to strengthen the core and tone the obliques
- Standing cable rotation: an upper body twist using cables or a resistance band that tones the abs and obliques
If you're just starting out, Wood recommends beginning with one set of 8 to 12 to see how your body responds. If you experience muscle soreness, give yourself 24 hours to recover and try it again. Of course, it's always important before starting any new exercises to see a fitness specialist. They will precisely demonstrate the movements for you to make sure that you're doing them properly.
If you're already in a regular workout routine, you can do all three exercises every single day or 3 to 5 times a week to see significant results. "If you watch what you're eating and do one or all three of these exercises on a regular basis, you can definitely get well-defined abs. And you can do it without the classic crunches," says Wood.
The William G. Rohrer Center for HealthFitness and Virtua's Center for HealthFitness in Washington Township approach health and wellness from a medically integrated perspective. Both state-of-the-art facilities provide a wide selection of equipment, resources and specialized programs to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Learn more by visiting www.virtuafitness.org.
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