Flatten your belly, tone your abs, and strengthen your core with these simple Pilates-based moves. No crunches required!
By Kelly Marages
Exercise: The Windshield Wiper
Targets: Obliques (side abs)
One Set: 5 to 8 reps
Starting Position: Lie on your back with your legs together. Raise your legs in the air, bent at a 90-degree angle, so your calves are parallel to the mat. Straighten your arms along the ground by your sides, palms facing down. Stretch your fingertips forward, and relax your shoulders.
One Rep: Tilt your legs to the right, keeping them together and bent 90 degrees. Let your left hip come off the mat while your upper body stays in place. When you've dipped your legs as far as you can without them touching the ground, return to the starting position. Don't take a break—repeat the motion to the left, bringing your legs back to the starting position.
To Make It Harder: Put legs in the "V" and raise them so your body is L-shaped. Move legs right then left, while they remain perpendicular to your torso.
Wrong Way: If your legs aren't touching or aren't at the correct angle, your obliques won't get as much of a workout.