Start with one set of 20 repetitions of each exercise. Work your way up to being able to cycle through up to four sets of each exercise in one workout. All begin with you lying on your back on the floor.
- Full Body Curl: This is a nice warm-up abdominal exercise that gets you in touch with your upper, middle and lower abdominals all at once. Start with your knees bent up and feet flat on the floor like you are about to do a sit-up. Then, as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor, bring your knees in. Put your feet back on the floor as you lower your head to the floor again. For a tougher variation, keep your legs straighter or straighten them out as you lower them to the ground. The straighter your legs are, the more you will be engaging your lower abdominal muscles. Ideally, you should be able to perform at least 30.
- Bicycle Crunch: Raise your legs to about 45 degrees from the floor. Bend one knee while keeping the other straight. At the same time, lift your shoulders and head off the ground while twisting to touch your opposite elbow to your knee. I consider one rep to be one of each side--or a pair. You should be able to do 20 pairs. (For a harder variation, lower your legs to just above the floor.)
- V-sit: By now, your whole abdominal area should be feeling it. Finish yourself off with a static or isometric exercise. (An effective abdominal workout includes both isometric and dynamic exercises.) Hold your legs at about 45 degrees to the floor--or lower--and lift your arms and upper body off the floor. The more directly above your shoulders you place your arms, the heavier they will be and the harder the exercise will be. In this posture, pulse your hands up and down rapidly for about 30 counts.