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Michele Olson's Top 3 Moves for Perfectly Toned Abs

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The best exercise technique for great abs is to work the entire area of the waistline, not just the front of your belly. These three movess, hand-picked by Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery and creator of the Perfect Legs, Glutes, & Abs DVD, target your deeper abdominal muscles, lateral abs, and the abs that run like a belt wrapping into your spine. "Your waistline needs to be strong and stable in order to “perform” optimally and look great from every angle—the front, sides, and back," says Olson. 

Here are the three top exercises to do just that:

1. Double Leg Stretch

A. Lie faceup with knees bent over your hips, heels together and toes pointed. Lift your shoulders and extend your arms on either side of your legs, palms facing each other, to start. Inhale.
B. Exhale as you extend your legs in front of you at a 45-degree angle and bring your arms overhead, palms facing legs. Return to starting position for 1 rep. Do 8 reps. 

2. Spider Plank

A. Start in a plank. Pull right knee up to touch right elbow. Repeat with left knee for 1 rep.
B. Alternate right and left knee for a total of 10 reps.

3. Reverse Side Bridge

A. Lay on left side with legs stacked and left arm extended, head resting on bicep, right palm on floor in front of chest.
B. Inhale. Squeeze inner thighs together as you lift both legs while exhaling. Lower legs for 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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