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.
Freestyle kicks are as much about the position you do them in as the kicks themselves. For this variation, you'll use your abs to bring your shoulders and legs off the floor; the flutter kicks challenge that position, and make your abs work harder to stabilize you against the motion of your legs.
Lie on your back on the floor and place your hands, palms down, underneath your lower back, just above your hips (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, lift your chest and shoulders slightly off the floor, so that you can look down at your feet. Lift your feet five inches off the floor, using your abs to hold your legs in the air (see Photo 2).
- Keeping your shoulders and feet off the floor, perform rapid flutter kicks. Keep your range of motion small so that you can maintain speed. Your legs should be straight, so that you kick from the hip rather than the knee. Continue to kick for 60 seconds, maintaining a consistent speed (see Photos 3 to 6).