I recently decided I needed to put together a new abs routine.  After searching the web for some new & fun ab exercises, this is what I came up with!! You will need a pair of dumbbells (5-10 lbs to start) and a medicine ball. (If you don’t have a medicine ball, just substitute a dumbbell.)  Do 20 reps of each exercise, and remember to take breaks when you need them!!  Sumo Twist – Squat in a sumo position with your hands in front of you. Stand and bring one knee up, twisting to that side.  Return to sumo squat position, and repeat on the other side.  Do 20 reps total, 10 on each side. [photo 10] Toe Touch Crunch – Holding a weight, lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air and your arms above your head.  Slowly lift your torso, trying to bring the weight to touch your toes. [photo 9] Ab Choppers – Lie on your back with your hands clasped straight overhead. Crunch up, bringing your hands over to the outside of your left thigh.  Lie back down and repeat bringing your hands inbetween your legs. Repeat to the right, middle, left, middle, etc…for 20 reps. [photo 8] Plank with Leg Lift – Get into a modified plank position with your weight resting on your forearms and toes, elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Lift your left leg off the floor 10 times.  Repeat on the right side. [photo 7] Crazy Ivans – Sit with your legs bent and feet crossed.  Lean back and hold your medicine ball or weight outside one hip. Rotate through your upper body to bring the medicine ball up over the opposite shoulder then back down.  Do 10 reps on each side, and then repeat for a total of 20 reps on each side. [photo 6] Dumbbell Sit-ups – Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent, arms bent over your head, holding your dumbbell with both hands.  Raise the dumbbell over your chest with straight arms.  Slowly lift your body up, keeping your core tight until your back is straight and dumbbell is directly over head. [photo 5] Mountain Climbers – In plank position, alternate pulling in your knees to your chest as fast as you can for 20 seconds. [photo 4] Standing Cross Crunch – Standing with one hand pressed above you, and the other to your side (add dumbbells for more intensity) twist to one side, lifting that knee up while bringing your elbow down to meet in front of you. Return to standing and repeat. Do 10 reps on each side, and then repeat for a total of 20 on each side. [photo 3] The Crab – Start with your feet flat on the floor, butt lifted, and hands facing your feet.  Bring one leg up & reach for that foot with the opposite hand. Repeat on the other side. Do 20 reps total, 10 on each side. [photo 2] Starfish –  In side plank position, raise your top leg as high as you can, toe pointed down.  Repeat 10 times on each side. [photo 1] Finish it off with 20 standard push-ups and you’re done!!

Photo credits: www.fitnessmagazine.com, www.womenshealthmag.com, www.bijou-bride.com, www.jennfit.ca, www.oxygenmag.com, www.shape.com …the abs are mine!!