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Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Better Body in 5 Minutes

The 5-Minute Six-Pack
By Alwyn Cosgrove, Men's Health

If you do only crunches, you're shortchanging your abs. Why? Because in addition to flexing your trunk as you do in a crunch your core muscles also allow you to flex your hips, rotate your body, and stabilize your spine. So for the best results, you need to target each of these functions. To hit them all in about 5 minutes, do one set of each exercise below in the order shown, with no rest between

Plank

Assume a pushup position, but place your forearms on the floor. Brace your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut, and hold for 30 seconds.

Side Plank

Lie on your left side and prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Then raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Brace your abs for 30 seconds. Then repeat on your right side.



Swiss-Ball Crunch


Lie on your back on a Swiss ball so that your hips and your lower and upper back rest on the ball. With your fingers placed behind your ears, raise your torso as high as you can by crunching your chest toward your hips, then return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.



Reverse Crunch


Lie on your back on the floor, with your knees slightly bent. Raise your knees to your chest by lifting your hips up and in. Lower your legs to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions.




Cable Woodchopper


With your right side toward the weight stack of a cable station, grab the rope handle of a high pulley with both hands. Pull the rope down and across your body until your hands are just outside your left knee. Reverse the move to return to the start. Do 15 reps, then face the opposite direction and do 15 more.




Reverse Cable Woodchopper


Now attach the rope handle to the low-pulley cable . Bend over and grab the rope with both hands, your arms nearly straight and just outside your right knee. Pull the rope up and across your body until your hands are in line with your left ear. Reverse the movement. Do 15 repetitions, then face the opposite direction and do 15 more.

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