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 abs and biceps muscles at the same time. Focus on keeping your abdominal muscles flat through the entire exercise.
Sit on a level surface with a small, squishy ball placed behind your lower back and your knees flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Grasp a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand. 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 toward your spine, pushing firmly against the ball. Simultaneously contract your abdominals and your 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 times as you can 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