Here are two words you almost never hear together: fun and abs. But we’re about to change all that. This exhilarating fitness-ball-based workout tones ab muscles by making them work hard to keep you balanced on the ball. And it not only sculpts your core but also targets the fat covering the muscles in that area. Best part? There’s not a crunch in the bunch!
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How it works
Do this 30-minute routinecreated by Patrick Goudeau, the Nike Elite Fitness trainer behind the Amazing Ball Choreography (ABC) DVDsmoving as quickly as possible from one exercise to the next. You’ll torch around 350 calories per session. Aim for four or five times a week for best results.
And try these tricks to knock off as much as 12 pounds this month while getting a sleek stomach.
3 of 9Laura Doss
Sit tall on a fitness ball with feet on the floor in front of you and knees bent to about 90 degrees. Engage core and begin bouncing. Think of bouncing up (instead of down), and let feet lift off the floor. Continue to bounce for 5 minutes, varying arm motions: Reach forward and back, up and down, in and out. Have fun with it!
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Jumping jack reach
While seated, hold the ball and jump legs apart, then together, then apart again. Stand and reach left hand to the right (use right hand to keep ball in place). Sit back down, jump legs together, and repeat sequence on the other side; that’s 1 rep. Do 4 reps, then do Basic Bounce for 1 minute. Repeat sequence 3 more times.
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Roll and twist
Walk legs out to come into bridge position with upper back on ball, hips lifted, and arms extended toward the ceiling with hands clasped; squeeze glutes. Rotate onto right shoulder, back to center, onto left shoulder, and back to center. Walk feet back in, contracting abs to lift up to sitting; that’s 1 rep. Do 12 reps; after each rep, do Basic Bounce for 16 counts.
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While sitting, begin alternating side-to-side lunges, rolling butt side to side while keeping both hands on ball. (For more challenge, reach one hand up and the other to the floor as you lunge). One left-side lunge plus one right-side lunge equals 1 rep. Do 16 reps, then do Basic Bounce for 1 minute. Repeat sequence 3 more times.
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Circle side lifts
Stand holding ball and with feet shoulder-width apart. Step right foot to right; move left foot to meet it as you circle ball right, up, left, and down. Step right foot to right again, lift left leg to side, and circle ball right and up. Return to previous position. Repeat on other side; that’s 1 rep. Do 8 reps, then jog in place for 1 minute. Repeat sequence 2 more times.
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Jack and tuck
Sit with feet together and arms straight out in front; feet wide, open arms out. Jump feet and arms back in; raise arms and bend knees, using abs to lift both feet. Hold 1 second, then lower arms and feet; that’s 1 rep. Do 12 reps, then do Basic Bounce for 1 minute. Repeat series 3 more times.
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Standing side crunch
Stand holding ball overhead, elbows bent and out to sides, and feet shoulder-width apart. Lift right knee to side; pull right elbow down to meet it. Return to starting position; repeat on other side. Bounce ball for 1 minute. Repeat sequence 3 more times.