Who remembers the fitness tests in elementary school? How many sit-ups could you do in a minute? Nothing mattered as long as you were hitting the ground and getting all the way back up. Form was completely out the window; it was all about those numbers.
Today, form, precision and engagement of the core is where it’s at. The more you focus on what you’re working, the better the benefits will be for you.
Our move today is an alternating leg lift, working our abdominals. All you need is a flat surface.
This move will focus on your lower abdominal section, and requires a bit of stamina. It can be modified for all fitness levels, as long as you can lie down on your back.
Begin this abdominal leg lift move by lying on the floor. Press your back into the floor and extend your legs straight out and place your hands on either side. Proceed to lift your legs at about a 45-degree angle, keeping them close together. You should feel the abdominals really engage at the start.
Keeping the legs elevated, begin to lift one leg at a time to just less than a 90-degree position, then return to the lower elevation. As quick as you return one leg to the start, continue on the opposite leg. Keep this alternating motion going for either a determined number of lifts or a set amount of time. Take a small break and continue onto your next set. Shoot for at least 10 repetitions of lifts on each side for three full sets.
This move can be modified by lifting your legs to a higher starting point, or even placing one foot (at a time) on the floor for stability.
This is a simple exercise for all levels of fitness and abilities.
The more you do this move (correctly), the better the benefits, unlike the old school elementary hustle.
— Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.