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Crunches to work obliques

December 17, 2007|Karen Voight

Practice straight-leg crunches when you want an extra challenge to your obliques, the abdominal muscles at the sides of your waist. With this move, you'll have to work a little harder than usual to keep your hips completely still as you rotate only your upper body.

-- Karen Voight

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1 Lie face up on a flat padded surface or mat. Stretch both legs out in front of you. Place your right heel over your left toes. Straighten your knees and pull your abdominals in toward your spine. Put your right hand behind your head and move your left arm in front of you, aiming it toward your right leg.

2 Inhale. On an exhale, contract your abdominals and raise your left shoulder blade off the floor, reaching your left hand toward the outer edge of your right foot. Pause for a moment, making sure that your hips, knees and toes are facing the ceiling. Push out through your heels and pull your navel down toward your spine. To release, lower your shoulder to the floor. Do 12 to 15 reps on this side, then switch sides. Build up to three sets of 15 reps on each side.

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Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

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