The slow and controlled pulse of this exercise keeps the abs engaged throughout the set, and adding the weight of a medicine ball kicks your abs into high gear and increases the burn. If you don't have a medicine ball, use a dumbbell instead; choose a weight between five and eight pounds.
- Begin lying on your back with your legs in the air, toes toward the ceiling, holding the medicine ball over your chest with straight arms. Engage your abs to press your low back into the mat while lifting your head, neck, and upper back off the mat.
- Exhale and round your low back so the bottom of the pelvis raises as you lift your upper body an inch higher off the mat. Aim the medicine ball toward your ankles as you perform this double crunch.
- Inhale, and lower your pelvis and upper back an inch toward the floor. Continue this slow pulsing motion for a total of 20 to 25 reps.
- Repeat for one minute.