To Your Health
February, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 02)
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9. The Alternating Hanging Leg Raise

This exercise is a variation of the hanging leg raise.

Starting Position
Same as hanging leg raise.

Same movement as hanging leg raise except you raise one knee up toward your chest. As you lower your knee down, the other knee comes up toward your chest. Repeat this alternating movement for 30 seconds.

10. Bicycles

This is perhaps the best exercise to target the rectus abdo-minis (the "six pack") and the obliques, according to a study done by the American Council on Exercise.

Starting Position
Lie face up on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head. Bring the knees in toward the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on the neck.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Movement
Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow toward the right knee. Switch sides, bringing the right elbow toward the left knee. Continue alternating sides in a "pedaling" motion for at least 12-16 reps.

And there you go: the top 10 abdominal exercises that will take the waste off your waist. These are the same exercises I use with my most successful clients. The reason these exercises are so great is because they recruit the entire abdominal region. Many people do the same basic ab exercise over and over (sit-ups are the classic example), which is a good exercise, but neglects a major part of your midsection.

Of course, these aren't the only exercises that are effective in tightening and toning your abdominal area. Your doctor can give you a comprehensive overview of how different exercises affect your abs and other muscle groups throughout the body, and get your started on a consistent exercise routine and nutritional program.

Is it really that simple? Yes it is, especially if you follow a structured program and have some guidance. Just commit to success and go for it. Good Luck!

Chelsea Cooper, MPA, CPT, is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, performance enhancement specialist, and rehab and exercise specialist. To learn more, visit