The benefits of a strong core should not be underestimated; it helps prevent injury and allows you to perform just about any activity better. It can also do wonders for your sense of accomplishment and confidence — strong is the new sexy, after all! If you've had your fill of crunches or are simply looking for an ab-strengthening move that takes the strain off your neck, give the lying overhead reach a go. Not only do you get to lie down — who doesn't love a lazy-girl workout?! — but it also gives your shoulders a nice workout, too.
Get started by grabbing a pair of five- to 10-pound weights.
- Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles, using your low abs to press your lower back into the mat. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent.
- Reach your arms overhead, bringing the dumbbells to tap on the floor above your head. Do not let your back arch away from the floor as your lower the weights.
- Raise your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Do 15 reps to complete a set.