Sunday, October 14, 2012

Abs Week: Steam Engine

It's the final day of abs week, and so I thought I'd give you a standing exercise. We tend to think of abs exercises as crunches or some other exercise where we sit or lie on the floor. Well, not always. There are some everyday exercises that help work your abs better than others. One of those is the steam engine.

You may know it as High Knees with a Twist, Standing Alternating Crunches, or some other name. The premise of all these is the same: Use your abs to lift your knees off the floor as you stand. Here is what you need to do:

Start in a standing position with your hands behind your head to give you a little resistance and make your body not move around so much in the pose. If this is too difficult during the move, you can bring your arms down and keep your fists clenched below your chin in a boxing stance.

Lift your right knee and try to bring your left elbow to meet your knee. You should be tightening your abs and using your ab strength to lift your knee, so your upper body shouldn't be moving down so your elbow can meet your knee. Rather you should be staying as straight as possible and lifting your knee as high as possible without bringing your upper body down.

Bring your right knee down and repeat on the other side. This time, bring your right elbow to meet your left knee. Repeat.

You should feel it on both sides of your abs because you are working diagonally. To see the fluid motion, watch the video below as a tool:

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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