Advanced Stomach Workout After printing and /or viewing, please click your “back” button to return to the Heritage website. The following illustrations depict some of the most effective and commonly performed exercises for shaping, trimming, and strengthening the stomach and waist. Each exercise should be performed with an even paced controlled movement that produces maximum results and reduces the risk of injury. The number of exercises, sets, and repetitions performed depends upon your health, strength and fitness level. If just beginning this exercise, start patiently and increase your intensity and level of exercise as your strength increases. We also strongly recommend that you consult your physician if you have had any history of low back problems or before beginning this or any exercise program. Bent-Knee Sit-Up Torso Twist Incline Sit-Up Partial Curl Knees bent, feet supported with hands behind neck or arms across chest, slowly pull to full curl position. Return to the start position with the same even paced movement. This is very effective if performed with the proper technique. This forces the abdominal and oblique muscles to pull and contract the upper torso to the curl position. Swinging and jerking movements create tremendous momentum and therefore greatly reduces the benefits of this exercise. With feet shoulder width apart, arms outstretched or using a pole or broomstick resting on the shoulders, twist from side to side. You will feel the oblique muscle stretch and contract as you twist. Perform the exercise with an even paced movement and twist only as far around as feels comfortable. Lying on incline sit up board, hands placed comfortably behind the neck or folded across the chest, slowly curl to up position concentrating on pulling with the abdominal muscles. Return to the starting position with the same controlled movement. Avoid swinging the upper body up rapidly out of control as this only reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Lie on padded surface, bend knees and place over bench, chair or couch (feet can also be placed flat on floor without using any support). Slowly pull the elbows toward the knees in a curling motion by contracting the abdominal muscles. Go up only as far as your strength level allows. Because of the bent knee position, your abdominal muscles are isolated and how high you go up is not as important as doing the exercise correctly. Avoid jerking and swinging movements that will aggravate the lower back! Page 2 Bent-Over Twist Knee Lift Bicycle Side Bend Feet slightly wider than shoulder width, knees slightly bent, upper body parallel to the floor, arms slightly bent, start pulling both arms in a torso twisting movement to your left side. As this begins, contract the oblique muscles on the right side which will help pull arms around. Rotate arms back to the right by contracting the left oblique muscles and repeat. Try to avoid swinging arms too quickly which tends to reduce the effectiveness of the oblique muscles to perform optimum work. In hip flexor chair, legs hanging down, elbows and arms resting on arm pads, back against pad, slowly pull the knees up toward chest. Slowly lower the knees back to the starting position and repeat. Avoid swinging knees up too quickly. It is more difficult to move knees slowly, but it is much more beneficial. The iliopsoas hip flexor muscles greatly assist the abdominal muscles when the knees are pulled up. (This exercise can also be performed with straight legs, from a chin up bar or resting on bench pulling knees in. Lying on back, extend both legs, placing hands behind neck. With alternating bicycle type sequence, pull one elbow up to the opposite knee. Return to start position. Pull the other elbow and knee together and keep repeating. If you cannot touch elbow and knee, go only as high as possible. With continued exercise and as your strength level increases this will become possible. Feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly flexed (allows for greater stretching to the side) lightweight dumbell in one hand with opposite hand behind head (can be performed with no weight and arms relaxed at your sides), slowly lower to a comfortable side bend position. Return to starting position by contracting the oblique muscles on the opposite side. If trimming up your waist line is your goal, avoid using heavy weight which will tend to increase your movement.