Crunch

FIGURE I

Lie on your back and raise your knees at a 90-degree angle.

Maintain this position while placing your hands in the proper position for abdominal exercise. Your hands should barely touch your ears to avoid added stress to the neck.

Do not allow your shoulders to touch the ground.

Isolate your stomach muscles by keeping them tight during the entire movement.

FIGURE 2

Raise your upper body toward your thighs, so your elbows touch them; use your abdominal muscles to pull you up.

Once you have reached your thighs, lower yourself back down with control.

32. Side Sit-Up

This is an excellent exercise for the right- and left-side abdominal muscles.

• Lie down in the sit-up position and place your right ankle on your left knee, so that your right knee is perpendicular to your body.

• Place your hands in the standard position, applying little or no pressure on your ears.

• Do not allow your shoulders to touch the ground.

• Maintain maximum stomach-muscle tightness during this entire movement.

FIGURE I

External Oblique

FIGURE 2

Raise your upper body so that your left elbow touches your right knee, and then slowly bring yourself back down.

FIGURE 3

Once you have finished with the left side, switch legs and work your right side.

Fire Up Your Core

Fire Up Your Core

If you weaken the center of any freestanding structure it becomes unstable. Eventually, everyday wear-and-tear takes its toll, causing the structure to buckle under pressure. This is exactly what happens when the core muscles are weak – it compromises your body’s ability to support the frame properly. In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of a strong core – and there is a valid reason for this. The core is where all of the powerful movements in the body originate – so it can essentially be thought of as your “center of power.”

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