Double your benefits by doing this variation of a curl and crunch. Use a slightly deflated ball or a small, firm pillow to support your lower back so you can contract your abdominal muscles and biceps muscles at the same time. Focus on keeping your abs flat throughout the entire exercise.
Sit on a flat, level surface with a small, squishy ball placed behind your lower back and grasp a 5-pound to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Inhale as you lean back over the ball, bringing the dumbbells toward the floor near the outsides of your thighs.
On an exhalation, press your navel in toward your spine, pushing firmly against the ball. Simultaneously contract your abdominal and biceps muscles by bringing your chest and dumbbells toward each other. Check that your elbows stay down by your hips. Pause for 2 seconds, keeping your midsection tight and your arms bent. Repeat as many repetitions as you can do in 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times