Need some motivation to hit the gym and rev up your swimsuit shape up routine? Look no further than the rockin’ bodies of celebrities.
Photographs of sculpted stars, like Jessica Biel, Audrina Patridge, and Jennifer Aniston, in teeny bikinis are always popping up in mags and firing up my urge to get fit – especially in the ab zone.
There are only seven days until the unofficial start of summer – Memorial Day – so, Healthy Hollywood recruited fitness guru Elisabeth Halfpapp to reveal some of her most effective ab toning tips.
Elisabeth is the co-founder of Exhale Spa and developed the core fusion workout and DVD series - a favorite of celebs like Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, and Cameron Diaz. “The best way to get in shape is to combine strengthening, stretching, and cardio movements, along with proper alignment/positioning, which is the basis of all our core fusion classes and technique,” declares Elisabeth.
Besides, a whittled waist, Elisabeth states a strong core also helps to decrease lower back pain/tightness, lessen upper back/shoulder tension, and improve posture. Also, better abs can be accomplished in just 4 weeks and it only takes a few ab exercises 4 times a week for 5 minutes. No excuses – now!
For those of us, who don’t have an Exhale Spa in their hood, Elisabeth shares 4 fabulous toners.
1. Side Plank-up: (targets abs, obliques, & inner thighs)
Lie on right side on the floor with legs stacked and a rolled-up towel between thighs. Prop torso up on right elbow so that right forearm is pointing in front of you. (MAKE IT EASIER: Stagger feet so that side of left foot is on the floor in front of right for a wider base of support.) Then, lift hips so that body forms a straight line from head to toe, squeezing towel between thighs. Hold for 1 count and lower. Do 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
2. C-Curve: (targets abs, quads, & inner thighs)
Stand facing a wall with legs together and squeeze rolled-up towel between thighs. With knees slightly bent, hinge forward at hips to place palms on wall, arms extended, so that back is nearly parallel to floor. Squeeze abs and towel as you rise onto toes, then do 20 pulses: Lower hips one inch then back up. (MAKE IT HARDER: Start with knees bent 90-degrees so that hips are closer to knee level.) Then, pulse. Do 3 sets.
3. Flat Back: (targets abs)
Sit on floor with lower back against a wall, knees bent slightly and feet planted wider than shoulder-width apart. Place hands on floor in front of you between legs and squeeze abs. Press into floor with fingertips and lift right foot up six inches. Lower and repeat with left foot to complete 1 rep. (MAKE IT HARDER: Try lifting both feet at the same time). Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
4. Round Back: (targets abs)
Sit on floor on a folded towel with shoulder blades against a wall and knees bent, feet flat; make sure back is rounded. Place hands on floor near hips, with fingertips pressed into floor. Squeeze abs and lift feet off floor, bring knees toward chest, then straighten legs so toes point toward ceiling. Do 10 pulses: bring legs an inch closer to the wall, then back an inch. (MAKE IT EASIER: Keep left foot on floor and bring extended right leg toward you by grasping right calf with hands.) Hold for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat. Do 3 sets.
For more information on Exhale Spa or the Core Fusion DVD series, check out www.exhalespa.com.