Ab Exercise - Hand Weights to Strengthen and Tone Abs and Core Muscles Video
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Video:Strengthen Abs and Core Muscles With Free Weights

with Leslie Nesbit

Looking for a new way to work your abs? Learn two quick and efficient hand weight exercises to get rock hard abs and strong core muscles.See Transcript

Transcript:Strengthen Abs and Core Muscles With Free Weights

Hi, I'm Leslie Nesbit for About.com Health.

Abdominal Strength and Maintenance

Today we're going to look at two great core strengthening exercises. The core area, the abdominals, definitely corresponds with a stronger back, so it's something that you want to do several times a week, once the body is warmed up, and remember to keep breathing so that you're supplying oxygen to those working muscles.

Beginner Ab Strenthening

So let's come into a beginner abdominal move. We're going to roll back, feel planted firmly on the floor, and just take your fingertips and support the neck. Now remember the head is falling back into the fingertips, the hands aren't pressing the head forward.

Ab Strength Posture

Imagine a string from your nose and chest drawing you straight up to the ceiling, so when you squeeze those abs you're lifting straight up and back down again. Try to bring your chin into the chest, but keep it open as if you're placing a fist or an apple right underneath there to facilitate breathing.

Advanced Ab Strengthening

So we're lifting up and back. Go for 15 or work up to 15. Now let's make this a little harder if you like and if you're ready. We're going to add a tailbone lift so that we're using those lower abdominals.

So same thing with the upper body but we're just going to add the lift, squeezing with the tailbone, coming back to the center, once again lift, chest and tailbone simultaneously. Don't forget to keep that breath flowing as you do this.

Begin Straddle Crunches

Next let's take the legs, opening out- we got a nice inside thigh stretch here. Place those forearms just inside the inside thighs, and as you squeeze your abs you're reaching to that wall in front of you. Try to get up as high on the elbows as you can, squeezing up the torso, and repeat. Go for 10 to 15. If you need to take a break you can, then repeat.

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