3 Easy Moves To Get You Hot, Crop Top-Worthy Abs

You know what comes after spring? Crop-top season. If your abs don't exactly feel ready for their grand debut, it's okay — there’s still time strengthen and tone.
We asked two ab experts — Pure Yoga’s Amanda Murdock and Equinox group fitness instructor, Gerren Liles — for tummy-targeting moves that will firm and flatten. Work these into your workout routine and you’ll feel more confident flaunting the results in a belly-baring top — no crazy (and ill-advised!) diets required.
The move: Fireman Drill
Start out in plank position. Drop to right forearm, then drop to left forearm. Rise up onto right palm, then rise up onto left palm, back to starting position. Repeat five times, always starting with right arm. Switch drop to start with left forearm and repeat five more times.
Why it works: “Planks are the best core-strengthening exercise and they can be done anywhere, no mat or special equipment required,” says Murdock, who teaches an abs-centric class called Center Sculpt, at Pure Yoga in New York. “You are engaging several muscle groups at one time — abdominals, quadriceps, glutes, shoulders, chest, and arms.”
The Move: The CRL Crunch
Lie on your back with feet flat on floor, knees up, arms flat at your sides. Contract abs by lifting upper back off floor no more than two inches. Hold at top. Keeping arms straight, reach you right hand toward you feet, crunching to right oblique. Return to start position (contracted abs, lifted two inches off the ground). Now, reach your left hand toward your left foot, crunching to left oblique. Return to start. Slowly lower back to floor. Repeat for 20 reps.
Why it works: “Regular crunches are boring,” says Gerren Liles, group fitness instructor at Equinox in New York. “Adding oblique crunches adds a challenge and targets love handles.”
The Move: The V-Hold and Reach Out
Sitting upright with knees bent, lean back slowly until your core begins to contract (make sure you're sticking your chest out and not rounding your back). Slowly lift feet about three inches off the floor. Hold a medicine ball at the center of your chest. Transfer ball to right hand; extend arm straight out to right. Hold for three seconds. Bring ball back to chest. Repeat on left side. Repeat steps for 12 reps.
Why it works: “From the front to the back of your midsection, all of your muscles are engaged,” says Liles. “You can increase the intensity of this exercise by using a heavier medicine ball, straightening your legs entirely, or even sitting on top of a Bosu.”
Photo: Via ASOS

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