5-Minute Abs

Abs are many people's obsession. It's true, of course, that flat abs are synonymous with thinness and being in shape, but it's also true that abs are easily toned — if there isn't a layer of fat covering them up. So if you stick with this program and don't see a difference in your appearance, then it's time to focus on weight loss. The good news? Once you lose the weight, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how strong and flat the muscles of your torso are. You only need to do this program every other day. And five minutes is actually plenty of time to see a difference. The individual exercises are listed first, with the details of each exercise following:

  • Crunches

  • Oblique crunches

  • Leg raises

  • Can cans

Crunches

Lie down with your back pressed gently into the floor, your elbows bent, your hands behind your head, your shoulders away from your ears, your abs contracted, and your head and shoulders lifted off the floor. On an exhale, come up about six inches, with your eyes looking in a diagonal at the ceiling. Come back down when you inhale without letting your head and shoulders go down to the floor. Repeat up to twenty times.

Oblique Crunches

Lie down with your back pressed gently into the floor, your elbows bent, your shoulders away from your ears, your abs contracted, and your head and shoulders lifted off the floor with your right hand. Your right knee should be bent, and your right foot should be on the floor. Your left ankle is on your right knee, and your left knee should be out to the side. Keep your right hand behind your head with your elbow bent, and your left arm on the floor. On an exhale, come up about six inches, and twist to your left knee without squeezing your torso. Come back down when you inhale without letting your head and shoulders go down to the floor. Repeat up to twenty times.

Leg Raises

Lie with your back on the floor, arms by your sides, legs up in the air, straight, abs gently contracted. Slowly lift your hips and legs off the floor (you'll only be able to go about an inch or two), then lower back down. Do this slowly and don't move your legs back and forth. Try to move straight up and down. Repeat up to twenty times.

Can Cans

Sit with your butt on the floor, hands behind you on the floor, torso long, shoulders away from your ears, knees bent, and toes on the floor. Lean back onto your hands without sagging. Stay long. Now, straighten your knees and extend your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your knees again, twist a bit to the right, and extend your legs to the right. Come back to the center and do the same to the left. Repeat a total of twenty times for all three directions.

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