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Flatten your tummy by tightening it from the inside out

June 2nd, 2014 1 Comment

Abs with a yoga block

I like to think of this has my bikini season crunch because it will pull back your pull back your abdominal wall quicker than we can say, “I don’t eat carbs.”  And let’s be serious, we don’t really mean that! As a bonus, you’ll also strengthen those pesky inner thigh muscles.

The crunch is pretty technical, so pay attention.  It won’t work unless you meticulously perform it properly every time.

The Setup:

  1. Lie flat on the floor and put your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Flex your feet and push towards the ceiling with the balls of your feet, not your heels.
  4. If this is too challenging, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle.
  5. Take a yoga block or rolled up towel and place it between your upper thighs.
  6. Squeeze.  Hard!

The set up is challenging on it’s own.  So if your core is weak, start off by seeing how long you can hold this position.

Adding Movement:

  1. Continue to squeeze the block; don’t let up on it as you move.
  2. Inhale deeply as you lift you tailbone off the ground barely an inch.
  3. Pull your elbows in around your face.
  4. Exhale using your core to push the air out as you raise your shoulder blades as far as you can off the ground.
  5. Hold at the top until you have exhaled all of the air and contracted your abs completely.
  6. Lower down to your starting position and repeat 15 times.

The key points to remember: squeeze the block, lift your shoulders up all the way, and pull your navel in as far as it will go.

Now that you’ve started to pull in your waistline from the inside, get to work on the outside.  Replace complex carbs like bread with fibrous fruits and veggies.  That is, IF you want your bathing suit body.  (If I’m being honest, most days, I don’t really care :))

(I found this exercise in class at Cura Yoga that has two studios in Houston that have tons of great power yoga classes!)

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