This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
This classic floor exercise gives a tough workout to your abdominal muscles, with a particular focus on your lower abs. For this variation, you'll focus on controlled speed and power as you lift and lower your legs.
Lie flat on a floor mat with your hands straight out to your sides and your palms facing down. Lift your legs up off the floor so that your hips are at a right angle, and your knees as are straight as possible. The straighter your knees are, the tougher the exercise will be (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, lower your legs with controlled speed down to the right and towards the floor, being sure to hold your legs in the same position (90-degree-angled hips, 90-degree-angled knees) as you move. Your upper body should remain motionless; focus on pivoting your legs and hips using your abdominal muscles and core (see Photo 2).
- When your legs have touched the floor at right, reverse the motion and bring them back up to starting position quickly but with control (see Photo 3).
- Without pausing, move through starting position and lower your legs down to your left. When you have lowered your legs to both sides you have completed two repetitions (see Photo 4).