Health & Fitness

Good Form: Pull up a chair and crunch

Health

Develop strong, sculpted abdominal muscles with this simple exercise. Perform this variation with your legs elevated on a sturdy chair to help you really "feel" your muscles contracting in a challenging yet safe way.

Lie face up on a flat, padded surface. Position your left calf and foot on the seat of a sturdy chair. (Be sure the chair is not a rolling or swivel chair.) Cross your right ankle on your left thigh next to the knee. Rotate your right knee and thigh out to the side. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed out to the sides. Inhale.

On an exhalation, press your middle and lower back firmly toward the floor as you raise your head, shoulders and chest. At the peak of the contraction, pause for 2 seconds, then slowly lower your upper body back to the floor. Repeat this move 20 to 30 times. Rest, then switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."

karen@karenvoight.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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