In a recent poll, I asked you all if your summer fitness goal is to have flat abs or a toned tush. Now, while the majority voted for flat abs I thought I'd share this exercise with you all that works both areas of concern. It's a full sit-up/bridge combo and it works your backs side and your torso splendidly.
Start with a basic bridge.
On an exhale, push your pelvis up. Keep your back straight and in neutral spine — imagine your abs and back muscles sandwiching your spine.
- You will feel your hamstrings and glutes work.
- If you want to work your inner thighs a bit, place something between your knees (like a pillow) and hold it there for the duration of the series.
- Lower your pelvis down to the ground as you inhale. As your pelvis lowers, bring your arms up.
Next, do a full sit up.
Exhale and roll all the way up to sitting with your hands behind your head. You put your hands behind so you can't jerk yourself up by swinging your arms up.
- Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Focus on pulling your deep abs to your spine as your roll up. Work the abs not the hip flexors.
Roll down and onto your back.
Inhale generously into your back as you roll down, keeping the navel pulled to the spine.
- Focus on hollowing out your abs even though you are moving quickly, move with control.
- Get ready to bring your hands to your sides as bridge up again.
That completes one set.
Aim to to do 20 reps, but remember quality is more important than quality and speed. Do not fling your self up and down, use your abs and focus on control.
Fit's tip: If I were my trainer, I would definitely stick a small pillow between my knees. Work to keep your legs truly parallel through out this exercise, it is much better form.