Rock Your Bikini and Add Weights to Your Ab Work

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According to celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson, the secret to awesome abs is "working consistently, working in different planes of motion, and adding weights to your abdominal work." Take this advice to heart - here are a handful of exercises that put these principals into action. Grab a set of dumbbells, from five to 10 pounds, and get ready to work on your abs.

  • Single Leg Standing Wood Chop : The wood chop works the entire torso, and standing on one leg means you're challenging your balance, too. Bonus! This exercise works the obliques and upper abs. Although this is a full-body move, it doesn't require a lot of space, so you can do it almost anywhere. Learn the move directly from Gunnar in this video about Minka Kelly's ab workout.
  • Leaning Camel: In yoga, Camel is a pose that increases flexibility in your spine, but this challenging variation using a weight strengthens your quads and abs. This exercise works the abs as they lengthen, which creates a lovely, lean torso. Here is a detailed description of the leaning camel to help you master the move.

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  • Kettlebell Windmill : While the kettlebell windmill targets the obliques, all the abs are involved as you move through a large range of motion. Lifting both weights overhead at the end of the exercise fires up the entire abdominal wall. Follow our step-by-step tutorial of the windmill to learn the subtleties of the exercise. Don't worry if you don't have kettlebells - you can use dumbbells, too.
  • Standing Side Bend: The standing side bend works your obliques, and celeb trainer Harley Pasternak recommends this move to keep the love handle area tight. We like that it simultaneously stretches one side of your torso while working the other - it feels good. Watch this video to learn the move.
  • Plank Arm and Leg Extension : We all know the plank is an effective core exercise, but adding motion and weights to the position really challenges your abs. This move is great for runners and cyclists, and since it tones all four layers of the abdominal wall, it will help you rock your bikini, too. Follow the exercise instructions here to make the most of the move.

Related Content:
Crunch-Free Moves For Bikini-Ready Abs
10 Minutes to Bikini-Ready Abs!
From the Fit Community: A 10-Minute Standing Abs Workout

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