When it comes to training your abdominals, it's important to include the deepest layer of this muscle group — the transversus abdominis, which is responsible for flattening the stomach. Here is a great way to target this area.
Lie face up on a flat, level surface. If you have a Pilates Circle, place it between your inner ankles and straighten your legs above your hips. (If you don't have this piece of equipment, you can do the same exercise without it.) Extend your arms to the sides and bend your elbows so that your hands are over your head.
On an exhalation, press your naval toward your spine to flatten your abdominals. Focus on keeping your abs flat as you slowly lower your legs to a 45-degree angle. Pause for a few seconds, then raise your legs back to vertical. Repeat 12 times.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times