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Fitness for life: Toned tummies

Berry and yogurt parfait is a perfect dessert for the Fourth of July.

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA
The Kansas City Star

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In the hopes of creating a toned tummy, most people do sit-ups, which work the rectus abdominis, the long muscle between the ribs and the pelvis. But to really sculpt your abs, you must engage your entire torso. The three-dimensional moves in this routine zone in on your core by targeting your abs from every angle. They work the obliques on your sides, the transverse abdominis deep in your belly, and the muscles along your spine, in addition to the rectus abdominis.

Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps of each exercise, five days a week, and you’ll show off a trimmer torso.

KNEE CIRCLES

Lie on back with arms resting at sides. Raise feet into the air and bring knees over rib cage.

With abs contracted and belly pulled in toward spine, slowly lower knees to side, then circle knees away from you and around to the other side. Complete the circle by bringing knees back to start position. Begin with small circles and increase the size for more of a challenge.

Complete one set and repeat in the opposite direction.

Don’t arch your back.

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