Truth be told, the hips are the anchor of the core. They not only add structure to the transverse abdoministhe muscle that acts as your body's girdlebut also support those hard-to-get-in-check lower belly muscles. That's why I like exercises that allow for "bolting," or stabilization of the hips. They help you win the battle of the bulge by creating a flat, toned stomach. (Word to the wise: You still have to watch what you eat.) Plus, building up those hipsa weak area for many womenwill boost your overall power, mobility and stability. Your body will respond like crazy.
Your hips don't lie; if they're weak, you'll have a saggy stomachand be at risk for injuries. Firm them up with this sequence and you'll notice a stronger, flatter belly. Aim to do the exercises six days a week; remember to pair them with 30 to 60 minutes of cardio.
Start on all fours; drop left forearm to the floor. Lift right foot, with sole facing up, and turn knee in, swinging right foot out to the side (A). Then raise right leg up on a diagonal (B). Return to "A" and repeat 30 times.
Tip: Keep your foot in line with your knee.
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Elbow Side Down Kicks
Start on all fours; drop left forearm to the floor. Lift right knee and rotate it inward (A). Extend right leg out to the side (B). Reach toes forward, coming as close to right hand as possible. Return to "A"; repeat 30 times.
Tip: You want your leg to be as low to the floor as possible.
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High Attitude to Arabesque Kick
Start on all fours, then drop both elbows to the floor in front of you, right arm in front of left. Lift right leg up, bending knee so that shin is slightly angled to the left (A). Pulse leg up as you straighten it (B). Return to "A" and repeat 30 times.
Tip: Aim for a tight core.
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Side Bounce Hip Sit to Open Diagonal
Start seated on left hip, with knees and hips stacked and left forearm and right hand on the floor (A). Press hips up, lower them back down and press them up again while rotating onto left knee; arms stay in position. Kick right leg back and up (B). Return to "A" and repeat 30 times.