Flatten your belly, tone your abs, and strengthen your core with these simple Pilates-based moves. No crunches required!
By Kelly Marages
Exercise: The Toe Dip
Targets: Lower belly
One Set: 5 to 8 reps
Starting Position: Lie on your back with your knees in the air, bent at a 90-degree angle, so your calves are parallel to the mat and toes are pointed forward. Straighten your arms along the ground by your sides, palms facing down. Stretch your fingertips forward, and relax your shoulders.
One Rep: While holding your left leg in the starting position, lower your right foot toward the floor (with right knee still bent 90 degrees), but don't let it touch the ground. When your right foot reaches the lowest point possible, bring it back to the starting position. Your head, shoulders, neck, and arms should remain in place. Switch legs to complete one rep.
To Make It Harder: Dip both legs (bent at 90-degree angles) at the same time, and then raise them simultaneously.
Wrong Way: Don't let your lower back come off the mat or you'll miss out on lots of lower-ab work.