Fat Attack Exercise for Abs: The Bicycle Maneuver

| 02/17/2011 | Comments (3)

The best abdominal exercise there is!

In 2009 the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Peter Francis, Ph.D., of San Diego State University, performed a scientific study on the muscular recruitment and therefore the effectiveness of 13 different abdominal exercises. Surprisingly, that old faithful middle-school gym class exercise – bicycling legs- came in first place! When it comes to working the muscle (the two big muscles that run down the middle of the tummy responsible for that six-pack look) the bicycle maneuver is a real winner.

The great bonuses to this exercise for women is that the bicycle maneuver came in #2 when it comes to effectiveness for the obliques, the large flat muscles on both sides of the stomach. This means tBicycle maneuver, the best abdominal exercise

  • Lie face-up on a mat. Cough gently to activate the transverse abdominus muscle. Notice the contraction that the cough created in your abdominals. Contract your abs to maintain that tension throughout the set.
  • Start off by placing your fingertips on head just behind your ears, with elbows pointing out to the side. To avoid pulling your neck during the exercise do not interlace your fingers behind your head.
  • Find a spot on the ceiling and focus on it throughout the exercise. This prevents chin tucking, which strains the neck and shifts muscular focus away from the abdomen.
  • Bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground. Stop when your lower body forms a 90-degree angle with the floor and your calves are parallel to the ground. Lift your shoulders off the mat. Bring your right elbow toward your left knee, drop your elbow back and bring your left elbow toward your right knee.
  • Continue to alternate sides until you complete 40 repetitions (20 for each leg). Extend your resting leg a few inches from the floor to increase intensity of the exercise.

If your abdominals are weak and you feel strain in your low back, decrease intensity by dropping your feet to the ground during the exercise to take a rest.

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Comments (3)

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  1. grace says:

    the same is very true for a fitness ball.
    similar movement can stimulate the same muscle group.
    awesome results!

    • My goal was to provide a top notch exercise routine that required no special equipment except for a pair of dumbbells, easily obtainable at Ross Dress for Less or Target. I didn’t want people to feel they had to go out and buy a bunch of equipment when they can get the same results without buying anything.

  2. eLLe85 says:

    So true–when I complained to my podiatrist that I can’t do cardio because of my ankle injury-he told me that old fashioned bicycle moves would work me out better than anything else!

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