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Ab Exercise: Single-Leg Extension

Easy and Effective Ab Exercises

Ab workouts don't always need to be about endless crunches. Work your middle with this neck-friendly single-leg extension exercise. Making your abs do all the work helps eliminates neck strain and will give you svelte abs in no time.

This ab move has the same set-up as our other ab exercises that won't strain your neck. Put them all together to create a series.

  • Start by sitting up with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Pull your abs toward your spine as you roll backward until your elbows make contact with the ground.
  • From this position, tuck your hips so your lower back connects with the ground. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, lifting your head nice and tall. You are now ready to begin.

Single-Leg Extension
single-leg extension

  • Extend one leg toward the sky, and point that foot.
  • Begin to pull your straight leg toward your chest; exhale sharply, and contract your abs as the leg moves closer to your core. Complete 10-15 reps.
  • Do press your shoulders down, away from your ears, to keep your neck relaxed.
  • Bonus move: Extend and straighten your bottom leg so it is parallel to the floor and hovering off the ground a couple inches.

Keep reading for another variation on the move.

Traveling Extension
Traveling extension

  • Contracting your abs, extend your opposite leg (if you haven't already), and bring that leg up to meet your top leg.
  • Exhale as you lower that leg down to hover over the ground a couple inches. Do this five times total in a slow, controlled motion.
  • On your final lift, keep both legs pointing toward the ceiling, and squeeze them together and toward your chest five more times.
  • Keep both of your knees straight for the duration of the exercise.

Opposite Leg
left side extension

  • Now switch sides and begin the entire sequence with the other leg.
  • Remember, for this exercise to be effective, your lower back needs to stay glued to the ground. Make sure you reengage your abs to tuck your hips as you move your legs up and down.
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