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This Month In Body
  • Tummy Time for Adults
    Swimsuit season is coming. Are you ready? If the thought of baring your abs is scary to you, it's time to get to work. Fortunately, the only equipment needed for a variety of ab-specific exercises is an exercise ball (also known as a Swiss ball, yoga ball, or stability ball) and a set of small dumbbells. Read >>
  • Swim Your Way Slim
    If you're tired of being hot and sweaty after exercising or are bored of your same old treadmill workout, it's time to try something cool and refreshing. Why not head to the pool? Maybe it's the thought of wearing a swimsuit in public or perhaps you're not a good swimmer, but don't let your inhibitions keep you from the health benefits offered by a water workout. Read >>
  • Jump Your Way to Fitness
    If you've ever jumped rope you know how quickly it gets your heart rate elevated and your calves burning. It's an easy but effective cardio workout that can be used to improve heart health, speed, strength, coordination, rhythm, and balance. For a fun and challenging workout, rotate through these 10 exercises. Read >>
  • Is It Worth the Effort?
    You can exercise for a whole hour, but if you're walking at a leisurely pace you won't see quick results. Generally, the harder you exercise, the greater the intensity, and the more fitness gains and health improvements you'll see. Keep reading to learn the two main ways of measuring exercise intensity. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Tummy Time for Adults

Try these exercises on the stability ball for toned, tight abs.

Swimsuit season is coming. Are you ready? If the thought of baring your abs is scary to you, it's time to get to work. Your abs are the muscles between your chest and pelvis, and their job is to help you breath and move, support the spine, and protect your internal organs. Unfortunately, stubborn fat cells like to accumulate around your middle and hide the muscles.

You know that a healthy diet, regular vigorous cardio exercise, and a challenging strength-training routine can help burn those fat cells. Take advantage of your know-how and spend a few minutes each day doing exercises that focus on the four main abdominal muscles: your external obliques, internal obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis. The only equipment needed for a variety of ab-specific exercises is an exercise ball (also known as a Swiss ball, yoga ball, or stability ball) and a set of small dumbbells.

External Obliques

The set of muscles that run diagonally across the sides of your torso are called your external obliques. They help you twist and rotate your upper body and are often hiding under the extra side fat that bulges over the waist of your pants, also known as love handles.

To work your external obliques, try the torso twist. Rest your lower back on an exercise ball and hold one dumbbell in both hands out in front of you. Twist your torso toward the right while moving the weight toward the right. Return to the center. Repeat on the right side 20 times and then twist to the left for 20 more. Move slowly and keep your core engaged the whole time.

Internal Obliques

Where are the internal obliques? Located on your sides underneath the external obliques, they're the muscles that help you twist and bend to the side. Strong internal obliques not only keep you fit and trim, but they also improve your posture and support your back.

To work your internal obliques, rest your upper back on an exercise ball (preferably one that has a flat side), place both feet flat on the ground, and stretch your arms above your head. Now, do a crunch by extending and raising your right leg while bringing your left hand to reach toward your right toe. Do 15 repetitions then switch to your left leg and right arm.

Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis is the outer-most abdominal muscle that runs down your front. It assists with breathing, posture, sitting up, and bending forward. When it's not covered by fat layers, it reveals what some like to call a six-pack.
An effective rectus abdominis exercise is the pike to plank on an exercise ball. Rest your shins on the ball and place your hands on the floor so you're in a plank position. Using your abdominal muscles, raise your hips toward the sky until your body is in an upside-down V-shape. Hold for one second, and then let the ball slowly roll back to the starting position. Perform for 15 repetitions.

Transverse Abdominis

The transverse abdominis is the innermost abdominal muscle that surrounds the belly and helps support the spine, pelvis, and lower back before the body moves. A toned transverse abdominis helps hold in extra body fat—a good thing if you're nervous during swimsuit season.

An exercise that works your transverse abdominis is a kneeling lift. Kneel on your left knee and bend your right leg to stabilize your body. Place an exercise or medicine ball on the floor by your left knee, lift it using both hands, and raise it up above your right shoulder. Bring it back to the left knee. Repeat this movement 15 times, switch sides, and repeat.