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3 Minute Abs

Arnold Schwarzenegger Abs/Abdominalsphoto © 2007 David van der Mark | more info (via: Wylio) Did you know that your abdomen muscles can be worked daily? While we recommend that you work other muscles on alternative days and give them time to recuperate, abs are one of the few muscle groupings that absolutely CAN be worked daily.  Here are three simple exercises you can do for three minutes, several times during the day if you wish! You know how much Coach Catherine and Joanna LOVE to kill us with those extra ab sessions during workouts… why not be even more prepared next time?

First exercise: You need a yoga ball and/or a 10 lb weight ball or weight. (For those of you who do not have a yoga ball, or would like to do these at the office, all you need is a weight and you can lie on the floor with your legs in a 90 degree position, feet on the floor).

Sit on a stability ball and hold a medicine ball with both hands. Walk your feet out, rolling the ball beneath you until your torso is supported on the ball at a slight incline. – Lift the medicine ball above your head, until your arms are straight and in line with your ears.

Contract abs to bring your spine into a neutral position. – Keep your upper arms by your ears as you curl your head, neck and shoulder blades upward. – Pause, then lower to starting position, and repeat for all reps. For those who like time, do for 1 minute, rest and repeat.

For those not using a stability ball, you can increase the intensity by lifting your feet straight in the air and then lifting your back off of the ground and trying to reach the ball or weight towards your feet.

Exercise Two: Reverse Curl

Instead of crunching up and bringing your head to your knees, this is where you bring your knees to your head! Just to make things a little more difficult!

To intensify the movement, attach ankle weights to ankles. Lie faceup on the floor with your head near a weight-bench base or other support, knees bent and heels close to buttocks. Hold the support behind your head with arms extended to keep you stable.

Contract your abs, bringing your spine to a neutral position. Inhale, then exhale as you curl your abs, bringing knees toward your chest until hips are about 2 inches off floor. Pause, then lower hips without changing leg position and repeat for all reps.

Exercise 3: Russian Twists

Still have that weight or exercise ball by you? Pick it up and it is time to hit those obliques!

Sit on the floor. Place your feet in a 90 degree position, feet on floor. Lift your feet off of the floor and hover, slightly leaning back to hold the position. Hold the ball/weight in both of your hands about level with your chest. Keeping your feet hovering off the ground begin twisting your arms from side to side with the goal of touching the weight/ball to the floor on each side of your body. Repeat for 30 reps or 1 minute. To decrease the intensity you may place your feet on the floor.

These exercises are all relatively easy to perform just about anywhere, with minimal equipment. Close your office door and pull out a weight… take 3 minutes on several of your breaks throughout the day and you will see major results! Good luck!

Resources: http://www.shape.com

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