To get a sexy toned stomach try something different than crunches, spice up your routine with any one of the exercises below. They are guaranteed to give you strong and firm abs but if you are looking for more muscle definition then you will need to lose some body fat in order to see the muscles that you are strengthening and firming up.

You cannot spot reduce fat so working your abs alone will not help remove the layer of fat which is hiding your abs, but by including any of these exercises into your cardio/strength training routine you will soon see the results of your hard work.

Leg Raises

You will need to use the Captain‘s Chair at the gym to do this exercise.

  1. Rest your arms on the pads, hold the handles and bring your knees up towards your chest, or for a more intense workout do a straight leg raise where you bring both legs up together keeping them horizontally out in front of you.
  2. Slowly lower them back down.
  3. Bring them up again but this time bringing your knees/straight legs to the side and then lower your legs back down.
  4. Raise your knees/straight legs in front of you then lower your legs.
  5. Bring your knees/straight legs up to the opposite side and lower them back down.
  6. Repeat the sequence until you have completed 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Keep the movement slow and controlled. Your core will be working to stabilise your body and the exercise will be working out your lower section of your abs and your obliques.

To increase the intensity try hanging leg raises by using the top handles (if the chair has them otherwise you can use a pull up/chin up bar or even a sturdy tree branch) and do either the knee or straight leg raises.

Plank on stability ball

  1. Get into plank position by supporting your body weight with your chest and forearms on the ball, elbows under shoulders, and your legs extended behind you with your toes on the floor.
  2. Lift your chest off of the ball so your upper body weight is supported by your forearms.
  3. Keep your abdominals contracted and your back straight. There should be a straight line form your head to your heels.
  4. Hold this position for 60 seconds, or if you cannot last 60 seconds hold for as long as you can take a rest and then do it again so the total time you are in the plank position ads up to 60 seconds.

Side Plank with Leg Lift/Raise

  1. Lie on the floor on your side and raise yourself upon to your forearm.
  2. Allow your upper leg to rest on your lower leg then raise your upper leg until just above hip height and lower.
  3. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions and then swap sides and do the same again with the opposite leg.

Stability Ball Knee Tucks

  1. Start by standing behind the ball, put your mid section on the ball and roll forwards until your hands are able to reach the floor.
  2. Walk out with your hands until your feet are supported on the ball and you are in a push up position with your hands under your shoulders.
  3. Keeping your back straight contract your abs and bring your knees towards your chest, so that the ball rolls towards your chest, pause and then roll the ball back to the starting position and repeat.

This can also be done using the TRX at your gym:

  1. Start in a push up position with your hands under your shoulders and your feet in the TRX straps. Keep your head facing down so that your spine is in alignment.
  2. Contract your abs and pull both knees towards your chest at the same time.
  3. Extend legs back to starting position.
  4. Keep movements slow and controlled, repeat.

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