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.
Crunches and situps target your abs, but obliques require special attention. The best oblique exercises bring arms and legs together for maximum burn. For this oblique buster, you'll lift your legs up to meet your arms in a V while lying on your side.
Lie on the floor on your left side, with your legs straight and together, and your hips folded at a 20-degree angle. Drop your shoulder back so that your chest and hips are open to the ceiling. Allow your shoulders to come back to the right, such that your right shoulder is on or just above the floor, even as from the waist down you are lying on your left hip. Let your left arm stretch out on the floor in front of you, with your palm facing down, and extend your right arm overhead on the floor (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, begin bringing your right leg straight up in the air as you bring your right arm up overhead to meet it. Use your left arm as a base arm for balance support by keeping pressure on it throughout the movement. Bring both of your shoulders up off the floor as you lift. At the top of your lift, your right hand and right foot should momentarily touch. Repeat several times as a warm-up (see Photos 2 and 3).
- When you feel ready, do the same exercise lifting both legs on each repetition, keeping your feet together, and touching your right foot with your right hand at the top of your lift. Again, try to lift both shoulders as you raise your legs (see Photos 4 and 5).
- After you have finished 20 of the toe tap obliques lying on your left side, roll over and repeat the set on your right side, starting first with a few single-leg lifts before moving into a set of 20 double-leg lifts.