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3 moves to sculpt your waist

Use this simple toning plan to strengthen and define your midsection

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waist opener

Your waist-sculpting routine

Strong core muscles help stabilize your body, prevent back strains and add power to your swimming stroke or golf swing. We’ve indicated the order in which to do three great moves, as it’s best to exercise large muscles first so the small ones aren’t too tired to support them later in the workout. Do the routine daily; it takes under 10 minutes and you can do it in front of the TV.

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reverse crunch

Move #1: Reverse Crunch

Works: lower and some upper abdominals

A. Lie face up on a mat or carpet with your knees bent. Raise one leg at a time, straightening each leg as much
as you can, so that the soles of your feet face the ceiling. Raise your head from the floor, placing your palms behind your head to provide support for your neck.

B. As you exhale, contract your abs to pull your legs about 30 degrees toward your head. Remember: Use your abs, not your leg muscles, when doing this exercise.

C. Inhale as you relax your abs to slowly return your legs to their original position. Do two sets of 15 reps.

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oblique twist

Move #2: Oblique Twist

Works: Obliques (the diagonal muscles that run along the sides of your waist)

A. Lie face up with your knees bent and heels on the floor. Place your left ankle across your right knee and your left hand, palm up, on the floor perpendicular to your body. Place your right palm behind your head to provide neck support.

B. Exhale as you raise your upper body, bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee.

C. Pause briefly, then inhale as you slowly lower your upper body to the mat. Your right hand should not pull your head forward, but simply support it. Switch sides. Do two sets of 15 reps (includes both sides).

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crunch

Move #3: Crunch

Works: Upper abdominals

A. Lie face up with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Point your toes up to provide extra back support. Place both hands under your head with the index fingers and thumbs of each hand touching. (Don’t interlock your fingers or pull on your head, which can result in strained neck muscles; the effort should come from your abs, not your arms). Throughout this exercise, keep your lower back pressed into the floor and avoid bouncing or jerking movements.

B. Exhale as you curl your upper body toward your thighs about 30 degrees.

C. Pause briefly, then inhale as you slowly lower yourself. Do two sets of 15 reps each.

Related:
8 ab-firming moves for two
8 fun ways to stay in shape
9 moves for strong, sexy legs

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total body workout

15-Minute Total Body Workout / Better Back Workout Collection

This DVD duo brings you everything you need to enjoy fun and challenging workouts at home. Quick-paced routines keep you inspired, while targeted exercises help you focus on your goals. Finish off your program with extra exercises devoted to keeping your back strong and injuries at bay.

Find out more in the Best Health store >>