Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1 Sculpting Ab Move You Need To Do!

As a Pilates instructor I get asked all the time the best way to get a flat, toned stomach.  The true answer is that you have to eat healthy AND add sculpting work.  But, for the sake of this post, lets just go ahead and say that you are eating right, getting your fair share of cardio along with flexibility and weight training.
A few weeks ago I was doing a circuit training workout and I wanted to try something new.  I was leaning on a stability ball doing side crunches and I decided to add a twist, turning up to the ceiling.
The result?  An exercise that works the abs and the obliques (side abdominals), as well as the good old "muffin top".  I like to make my workouts simple enough that you can do them at home, so I tried this exercise using a few stacked blankets.  You can use either, but, honestly, I felt like using the blankets actually worked me harder and allowed me to have better form.

 Side Ab Twist

What You Need:
A clear space and a stability ball or a few stacked blankets or pillows.

  1. Place your right side on the blankets and "stack your hips"  This means that your navel/torso/upper body is facing the wall in front of you, hip bone over hip bone.
  2. Stagger your legs, right leg in front, left leg in back.
  3. Place your right forearm on the floor, shoulder directly over the elbow.  This is for balance only.  Do not place pressure on your arm.  Imagine your shoulder lifting away from your elbow and send that weight to your torso.
  4. Left arm is bent with fingers pointing to you ear.
  5. Start with your body in one straight line.
  6. Do a side crunch up and then a twist, turning your upper body toward the ceiling while keeping your hips stacked.
  7. Untwist while holding the crunch, then make your way to starting position.
Repeat 10-15 times and then switch sides.
Shoulder over shoulder, hip over hip.
Hips stay stacked, upper body twists to the ceiling.  Use your ABS not your arm!
Stretch at the end!  Let your top arm come next to your ear and take a breath.  Ahhhh....

Trainers Tips:

  • Inale at the start, exhale as you lift and twist.  
  • Take it slow.  About two seconds to lift, two seconds to lower.
  • Lengthen your spine.  Don't let your back arch.
  • Keep the upper body engaged without being tense.  Think "ears away from shoulders".    

You can also do this on a stability ball!

Bottom leg has a bent knee when you use a ball.

Use the abs, not the arms or legs!
Try it!  You'll like it :)


  1. I will try this when I'm not working out with my trainer!

    1. I didn't know you worked with a personal trainer! That is awesome. Best way to stay motivated :) Well, that and reading my blog.


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