Transform your middle with this fun stability-ball workout from exercise physiologist and fitness DVD star Amy Dixon, based on her Global Conditioning class at Equinox Fitness in Century City, California. These moves hit every major ab muscle. Perform three sets of each move resting 30 seconds between sets. Do them three times a week (for 20 minutes total), plus 45 minutes of moderate to intense cardio three times per week, and trim 2 belly inches in 4 weeks.
Lateral Lunge with Figure 8 A.(top right) Stand with feet together, holding a stability ball in front of your body with arms bent. Step right foot out to the side and bend the knee to 90 degrees (don't let it go past your toes); both feet should still be facing forward. At the same time, hinge and twist at hips to bring ball down to the outside of right knee.
B.(inset, lower left) As you push off with your right foot to return to starting position, lift the ball up and over your right shoulder to finish the first half of the figure 8. Repeat the lunge and ball movement on the other side to complete the figure 8; that's 1 rep. Do 15 reps.
Trainer tip: Concentrate on making the ball movement fluid.
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Oblique driving-knee crunch
A.(top right) Lie on your back on a stability ball with your feet hip-distance apart on the floor and knees bent to 90 degrees. Place your right hand behind your head and your left fingertips on the floor for balance. Brace your core and lift your left foot off the floor. Extend your left leg, foot flexed.
B.(inset, lower left) Crunch up, twisting your right shoulder and rib cage toward your left knee while simultaneously stretching your right leg straight (keep your foot on the floor). Return to starting position (left leg lifted and right leg bent); that's 1 rep. Do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Trainer tip: Focus on exhaling as your knee and shoulder move toward each other, then inhaling as you return to starting position.
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A.(top left) Lie with your shoulder blades, back, and hips on a stability ball, knees shoulder-width apart and bent to 90 degrees, feet on the floor. Extend your arms overhead.
B. ]inset, lower right) Draw lower abdomen in toward your spine. Slowly raise your arms above your shoulders while lifting your chest so that both shoulder blades and your upper back come off the ball. Hold for 3 seconds, then return to starting position; that's 1 rep. Do 15 reps.
Trainer tip: Envision a point directly above your shoulders; reach for that same point with every rep.
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Kneel in front of a stability ball with your forearms and elbows on the ball, hands clasped. Roll ball forward until your legs are extended and your body is in plank position, toes tucked. Your shoulders should be stacked directly above your elbows, chest lifted off the ball, and neck in line with your spine. Brace your abs and make small circles to the right with your forearms, as if stirring a pot. Do 15 reps, then repeat, making circles to the left.
Trainer tip: While your arms are making circles, make sure the rest of your body remains still.
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