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Crunches

Abs

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Beginner

3 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Intermediate

4 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Advanced

5 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Equipment Needed:

• None

Positioning:

• Lying flat on your back, keep your feet flat on the ground. • Gently place your hands on either side of your head and keep your elbows tucked. Be sure not to lock your fingers together as this may force you to unnecessarily pull on your head.

Completing the exercise:

• Push the small of your back down and into the floor to better target your abdominal muscles and roll your shoulders off the floor. • At the top of the exercise, your shoulders should be about 4 inches off the floor with your lower back still pressed to the ground. When you reach the top, contract your abs and hold the position for a second. • Release the contraction and slowly return to the starting position as you inhale.

Considerations:

• Rather than using momentum to complete the exercise quickly, focus on slow, controlled movements to maximize the impact.

Roman chair leg raises

Abs

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Beginner

3 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Intermediate

4 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Advanced

5 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Equipment Needed:

• Roman chair

Positioning:

• Standing at the Roman chair, position your back so that it is straight and pressed against the back of the chair. • Place your arms on the arm pads, making sure to keep your elbows directly under your shoulders.

Completing the exercise:

• Slowly raise your legs up until they are parallel to the ground, making sure to keep them as straight as possible. • From the parallel position, slowly begin to lower your legs back down to their starting position. Make sure to lower your legs all the way back down before repeating the motion.

Flat-lying leg raises

Abs

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Beginner

3 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Intermediate

4 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Advanced

5 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Equipment Needed:

• Exercise bench (Optional)

Positioning:

• Lie with your back flat and your legs extended straight out. • Place your hands beneath your glutes. {If using a bench, you can grab the sides of the bench for support if you’d prefer.)

Completing the exercise:

• Keeping your legs as straight as possible, exhale and lift your legs until they form a 90-degree angle to the floor. • Hold the position at the top of the exercise, contracting your abdominal muscles. • After a second, breathe in and slowly drop your legs down to their starting position.

Rotating sit-ups

Abs

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Beginner

3 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Intermediate

4 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Advanced

5 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Equipment Needed:

• Incline workout bench (optional)

Positioning:

•Lying flat on your back, keep your feet flat on the ground (or if using a bench, secure them with the foot pads) and bend your knees. • Place your hands underneath your head, but do not lock your fingers together.

Completing the exercise:

• Pressing your lower back into the ground and tightening your abdominal muscles, begin to lift your shoulders off the ground (or bench) as you breathe out. • As your shoulders rise, twist your upper body as if you were trying to touch your left shoulder to your right knee, but the two should not actually make contact. • Hold the position at the top of the movement for a second. • Breathing in, slowly turn your elbow back away from your knee and lower your upper body back to the starting position. • Repeat the movement on the opposite side, moving your right elbow toward your left knee.

Roman chair knee raises

Abs

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Beginner

3 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Intermediate

4 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Advanced

5 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Equipment Needed:

• Roman chair

Positioning:

• Standing at the Roman chair, position your back so that it is straight and pressed against the back of the chair. • Place your arms on the arm pads, keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, remove your feet from the foot rests and slowly raise your legs up with your knees bent until your thighs are parallel with the floor. • Continue to raise your knees until they cross above the parallel line with the floor. • Hold the position at the top of the exercise for a second before slowly lowering your legs back down while breathing in.