Get on the Ball to Get Great-looking Abs!

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Question: I am almost ready for summer and have worked my butt off, literally, to get to this point. I am just getting bored with the same old crunches and reverse crunch exercises for abs. Are there some other abdominal exercises I can do? For cardio, I have been running, but that is beginning to bore me, too. Is there anything else that I can do that is as effective as running is for me?
Answer: Of course, there are several different exercises for abs you can do. You can use a stability ball for far more than crunches and have it target a couple of areas effectively. Place your lower legs across the ball while lying on the floor.
Place your hands behind your head, lift your hips off the floor and squeeze your glutes together. This exercise works both your abs and glutes. Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps. While on the floor, you can use a 5- pound plate or medicine ball to perform V-up twists. While sitting on the floor, holding the ball slightly elevated above your midsection, lift your feet and shoulders off of the floor and twist the ball side to side. Do three sets of 30 reps. You can finish with hip raises, which can be most easily done on a bench.
Lift your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor and secure yourself by holding on to the bench just above your head. Lift your hips straight up, then lower them back to the bench. Don’t allow your feet to float toward your head and don’t just drop back to the bench. Control the movement. Do three sets of 20 here.
Alter your running by installing three different versions of running. Continue to do your 2- to 3-mile jog on day one. On day two, you will run the same course but do intervals after your first half mile. You can sprint to points and then return to a jog to another point as you complete 2 miles. Another version is to sprint for time, 20 seconds to a minute of sprinting and recover by doubling the time of your sprint.
It is still 2 miles total. Day three is hill sprints or stadium steps. Do 30 minutes of hill sprints running 50 sprints uphill broken down into 10 reps/rest 2 minutes; 15 reps/rest 3 minutes; 15 reps/rest 3 minutes/10 reps.
The hill should be 20 yards and at least a 45-degree incline. Rest one to two days from running and repeat the cycle. These two routines should be the final stage to getting you beach-ready.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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