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I'm bored with my abs workout. Can you help? Add to ...

The question

I work out regularly and I consider myself really fit but I am bored with my core workout. Please suggest some lower abdominal exercises.

The answer

My favourite exercises for targeting the lower fibres of the abdominals are knee-tucks done on the Roman Chair machine and pikes.

Since it sounds like you are fairly advanced, try to superset them. Do 10-15 reps of each exercise back-to-back. Rest after you complete a set of both exercises. Complete the superset 3 times.

Knee-Tucks: put your forearms on the arm rest of the roman chair machine and your back against the back pad. Start with your legs dangling straight down. Lift your knees up towards your chest, hold for two seconds and then slowly lower them down.

Pike: get into a plank position with your hands on the floor and your toes on two wash cloths or two paper plates. Your body should form a straight line and your core should be engaged. Pike your hips up in the air so your body looks like an inverted "V". Use the paper plates or wash cloths to allow your feet to slide along the floor. Slowly lower.

For both exercises, focus on initiating the movement with the muscles that run between your pubic bone and your belly button.

Trainer's Tip: For added variety, try pyramiding the repetitions. Do six reps of each exercise, then eight reps of each. Peak at the top of the pyramid by doing 10 reps of each. Finish by doing eight and then six reps of each exercise.

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at trainer@globeandmail.com. She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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