Photo gallery: Tone your abs with five easy exercises

Nothing can make you feel more confident than having a sculpted stomach. See how to effectively take your tummy from squishy to sexy -- without thousands of boring old crunches.

By Pamela Mazzuca Prebeg, personal trainer, athletic therapist
Photography by Geoff George

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The workout

Complete three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for each exercise (three sets of 30 to 45 seconds for the plank), resting for 45 seconds between sets. Complete all three sets for the first exercise before moving on to the second exercise, and so on. For optimal results, do this workout three times a week, try to fit in 30 minutes of cardio at least four days a week and follow a healthy eating plan.

What you will need: exercise ball; yoga mat

Plank
What it works: Tones your tummy (rectus abdominis) and strengthens your lower back (shoulder girdle, erector spinae)

How to do it: Lie facedown on a mat, resting on your forearms with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your toes curled under. Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your weight between your forearms and toes. Keep your body straight like a plank and your spine in proper alignment. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds. Breathe. Repeat.

This story was originally titled "Ab Fab" in the June 2010 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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