Welcome to our weekly fitness feature, "STEF IT UP," a fitness how-to with our very own Stefanie Spitz, and host of the Women's Workout Daily Blog.

ABS

This is an area of the body that no matter what season we are in we want to work at and get flat! Check out Stef's best Ab exercises below!

 

1) Stability Ball Pelvic Tilt Crunch - (Works chest, abs, hips and glutes.)

Grab a 5-10 pound medicine ball and a stability ball. Lie face up on the stability ball with your mid back pressing in to it. Keep your feet positioned on the floor keeping your legs hip width apart. (To make this more challenging squeeze your legs together.)

Pull your abs in as you tilt your hips upwards so that your shoulders are now touching the ball. As you tilt your hips reach your arms toward the ceiling so you are holding the medicine ball in line with your chest.

Repeat this movement 10-15 times, rest and do one more set. (Note, the smaller the stability ball is the more challenging the exercise is.)

2) Walk the Plank and Rotate - (Works entire core, shoulders, chest, back, and hips)

Start in a plank position with your hands on a 12- to 18-inch step. (If you don’t have one, do this exercise on the floor.)

With your weight on your left hand, rotate your body while raising your right arm toward the ceiling.

Return to the plank position. Repeat this exercise 10-15 reps on each side. Rest and repeat one more time.

3) Straight Leg Crunch With Arm Pull-Over - (Works upper back, abs, and hips)

Using 10-12 pound dumbbells, lie on your back with your arms hugging your ears. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle.

Simultaneously, bring your arms up over your chest, lifting your head, neck and shoulders off the mat.  Lift your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor.(Think of folding in half.)

Return to the start position (don’t let your legs touch the floor). Repeat this exercise 10-20 times, rest and repeat again.

4) The Matrix (Works abs, back, glutes, and quads)

Grab the 5-10 pound medicine ball that you used for the Stability Ball Pelvic Tilt Crunch. Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine and press the ball against your chest.

Slowly lean back as far as possible, keeping your knees pushing in to the floor. Hold the reclined position for 3 seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. Do this exercise 20 times, rest and repeat.

5) Knee to Nose Crunch - (Works entire core, shoulders, chest, hips, and glutes)

Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball. Draw your right knee toward your chest.

Hold for 1 second, then return to plank position. Do this 15-20 times on the right leg then repeat on the left. Rest, then repeat reps again.

6) Back Extension - (Works lower back and glutes: if you choose to do the leg lift)

(In order to counteract the ab workout you just did, you must stretch and elongate the muscles you just worked. Back extension is just one way to stretch out the front of the body.)

Rest your hips and stomach on a stability ball. Straighten your legs and position your toes hip-width apart on the floor, while resting your upper body over the ball.

Lift your upper body off the ball as you reach your arms. (Remember to keep your head in line with your spine.)

Repeat this stretch 2-4 times and rest.

(For a challenge while you are lifting your upper body off the ball, extend your right leg about 6 inches off of the floor. Then switch to the left.)

We are now this much closer to getting that flat tummy we desire:)

For more of Stefanie's fitness tips and advice check out her blog page Women's Workout Daily.



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