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Get Ready for Spring Break With These Ab Workouts

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Whether you already have a tropical destination on the books for spring break or you're just looking forward to bathing suit season later in the year, there's no better time to start working to get your abs beach-ready than now. In addition to making nutritious smoothies in your personal blender and having a larger cardiovascular exercise regimen, there are a two simple ab​dominal exercises that you can do to help sculpt your stomach. 

3-Minute Planks 
Test your abdominal muscles with this brief workout that will feel like much longer than three minutes. This exercise starts with the standard plank pose - holding yourself up either on your elbows or with straight arms, stabilizing with the core and legs - and gets a little trickier. Start with the first position while timing yourself, then move to the next without resting in between. 

  1. 30 seconds of regular plank
  2. 15 seconds holding your right arm up, supporting yourself with the remaining three points of contact
  3. 15 second left arm up
  4. 15 seconds right leg up
  5. 15 second left leg up
  6. 30 seconds right arm and left leg up
  7. 30 seconds left arm and right leg up
  8. 30 seconds regular blank
Incorporate this workout into a wider routine for maximum effectiveness. Incorporate this workout into a wider routine for maximum effectiveness.

Bicycle Crunches 
Forget typical sit-ups and crunches, bicycle crunches work a wider range of muscles with a greater effect. Start by lying on your back as if you're about to begin crunches. Place your hands behind your head and raise your legs slightly. Lift and twist your body so you meet you elbow with the opposite knee, then switch sides and repeat. Your legs will pump like you're riding a bicycle and your abs will get a workout all around as you hold you head and neck up and your arms twist your body. 

Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine to make sure you are ready for athletic activity. These are suggestions for workouts, not strict directives.