How to Use the Ab Swing

By Lisa M. Wolfe

Toning your abdominals takes variety, consistency and precision. If you make the Ab Swing part of your workout, you'll target your midsection in a movement similar to a hanging leg raise, but with your torso supported by the machine's seat, instead of hanging vertically. Since your trunk is not shortening during the exercise -- which means your abs aren't contracting dynamically -- your core is strengthened through a static contraction, according to Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico.

Step 1

Warm up with five minutes of full-body aerobic movement such as walking, marching in place, stair climbing or dancing.

Step 2

Sit on the Ab Swing's seat. Place your feet on the foot rest and hold onto the handles. Exhale and raise your legs toward your torso while at the same time moving your chest closer to your knees. Count to one and then return to the starting position. Complete eight to 12 repetitions.

Step 3

Vary the Ab Swing exercise by keeping your torso still as you raise your legs. Form an "L" shape with your upper body and legs at the top of the movement. Hold this position for one second and then return to the starting position. Repeat for eight to 12 leg raises.

Step 4

Add variety and target your obliques by raising and then swinging your legs from right to left before you return to the center and lower your legs to the starting position.

Step 5

Lie on your right hip to target your obliques, at the sides of your abdomen. Lift and lower your legs as you complete eight to 12 raises on the right side. Turn and place your left hip on the seat and raise and lower your legs for an equal number of reps.

Step 6

Choose one or all of the Ab Swing exercises and perform one to three sets of each. Working your abs three to five days a week should provide the best toning results, according to Dr. Kravitz.

References

About the Author

A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.

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