The Essentials 4
Train Your Core
Why You Need To Do This: This exercise mimics a more-realistic use of your core, strengthening multiple muscle groups at once to improve your sports performance, as well as offering general conditioning benefits.
Targets: Abs, Hip Flexors, and Pecs
Set-Up: Lie face up on the floor with your legs together and hold a dumbbell over your chest with both hands, arms straight. Lower the weight in an arc overhead toward the floor behind you and lift your legs six to eight inches off the ground. Press your lower back into the floor and flex your feet.
Action: While contracting the abs, simultaneously bring your legs and torso together (while keeping your arms extended over your head). Your goal is to form a V shape with your upper and lower body, with your abs serving as the base of the V. Slowly lower back to the starting position.
Tip: Remember to breathe: Exhale on the exertion and inhale on the return. If this move is too challenging, bend your knees slightly and keep the dumbbell over your head instead of behind you for the starting position.