When the weather gets warmer, everyone suddenly has “bikini season” fever. People flock to the gym, start new workout routines and cut down on junk food consumption. However, exercising has a new appeal if you consider how you’re benefiting yourself. When you think of it that way, you might be more interested in working on your fitness, even during sweater season. And of course, preparing for fun in the sun before the warm weather truly comes back never hurt anyone.
A twist on the traditional
Instead of doing crunches with your legs together and knees bent, try this butterfly move. Lay on your back with your feet pressed together and legs flat on the floor so that they resemble butterfly wings. From this position, crunch your abs and chin at the same time while keeping your back against the floor. Seventeen magazine recommended completing four sets of 25 reps, three times a week. The publication advised readers to focus on breathing during each set, exhaling with each flex of your abdomen.
Get on your feet
You can even work on your abs while standing up, which means any time is a good time to tone. Cosmopolitan magazine described a method of doing crunches while vertical – a fresh alterative to laying on the gym floor. Place your hands on your hips as you stand with your feet facing forward, a little more than shoulder-width apart. Start the rep by tilting your pelvis forward, bringing your hips toward your chest and your bellybutton back to your spine. Obviously the most important part of this motion is engaging your abs. With your core muscles tight, reverse the motion by tilting your pelvis back and pushing your butt out. Your shoulders should go back while your chest thrusts forward to complete the exercise.
It’s also possible to improve your abdominal muscles with dance moves. Simply stand with your feet twice as far apart as your shoulders. Bend your knees a bit and tighten your core as you pop your hips from left to right, as detailed by Cosmopolitan.
Hold your own weight
Here’s another exercise that changes up the typical floor routine. Find a sturdy chair and keep an eye on your BABY-G watch to time the exercise. Grip the front edge of the chair with your fingers facing forward and squeeze your abs. Lift your feet a few inches off the floor and hold yourself so that your butt isn’t on the chair. Fitness magazine recommended holding the position for five to 10 seconds, or as long as you can, and repeat for a minute.
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