This builds endurance in both the abs and back, as well as stabilizer muscles.
1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.
5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
I use this move while watching tv sometimes. I copied the text from this site: http://exercise.about.com/od/abs/ss/abexercises_10.htm
Ah yes, the plank. Highly overlooked exercise. Staple of my exercise regiment and foundation of developing a quality pushup. Kick it up a notch by placing forarms on a stability ball.
Core is such a buzz word in fitness, and it is important to always keep in mind that the muscles of the back (erector spinae, quadratus lumbardum, rhomboids, etc.) are antagonist muscles to the abs. Working the abdominals, the lower back, and muscles of in the plevic region all combine to strength the core.
I actually used to love the ab roller, unfortunately I have no idea where it is now. I have not tried the 10-minute abs videos. Are they any good?
Just found this Vic Costa Ab Workout video online and I thought it was pretty good for abs.
My favorite are decline weighted or medicine ball sit-ups followed by hanging knee raises. And of course, like Toby mentioned, the plank. But trying lifting a hand or foot off the ground occasionally. Definitely makes it harder.
I have the 10 min abs video and I love it! It works my core hard and I find that I get a great leg work out too. Best feature is that you can choose from 6 different 10 min workouts and create your own workout plan!!! I highly recommend it. I bought mine at Target for $20.
I'm a Pilates instructor and there is nothing better for your core than a good pilates workout. I have a lot of top athletes come to my class on all levels to stabilize their core and strengthen in between workouts and sports. It's a great workout with minimal body strain. Find a good trainer or even any Gaiam dvd would help. Best of luck!
I got my abs back by 3 months after baby with Tupler technique. There's a lot of isometric exercise to it, but you can break the exercises up throughout the day to get it done if you're busy. The plank is great also of course! I've alway done a combination of pilates and yoga (pilates for abs, yoga seems to target my legs and arms more) and I still feel that the lengthening from pilates and yoga help me avoid injury, but Tupler technique works on the transverse abs and back and will help cinch everything in. I'm still 5 pounds from pre-baby weight (marathon training makes me hungry) but have cinched my waist right back to pre-baby size and wore a bikini proudly to the beach when my son was 6 months old.
Throwdowns are hard and they require a partner, but if your desperate a heavy table works although it just isnt as good a workout because the partner is supposed to throw your legs down
theres also the classics:
V sit ups
crunches w/ feet in the air
side crunches and side crunches w/ feet in the air
the pole vaulters at my high school do three sets with thirty reps each but it's a good idea to start light if you are justbeginning to work your ab muscles