Belly-Laugh-Day-Stamp-v3Happy Belly Laugh Day! Did you know that laughing is good for both your mind and body? When you laugh you move more; stretching and contracting muscles in your face and stomach. Your heart rate increases and you breathe faster, too. This sends more oxygen to tissues, like your muscles.[i]

Laughter, and even smiling, is shown to have short-term benefits like decreasing your stress levels and increasing the endorphins released by your brain, and long-term benefits like improving your immune system as well as your mood.[ii]

This is why National Belly Laugh Day is the perfect day to learn more about how you can define and strengthen your abs and core! After all, wouldn’t having great abs put a smile on your face?

This is Part 2 of the Abs / Core 101 series. So if you missed part 1, check it out!

Core Work Outs and Ab Exercises 101 – Part 1

To help you smile more when you see your tight and toned stomach, here are three more ab exercises for you to learn and use during your workouts.

All of these exercises are done with your body in the same position, while varying the movement with your legs. Try doing them all in a row or mixing them in with your other ab exercises to create an ab defining circuit.

Since all of these exercises begin from the same position, follow these guidelines for all 3 of the exercises provided. Additional directions for each exercise are provided with the photos below.


  1. While lying on your back, position your hands slightly under your lower-back, under your hips and slightly under the outer portion of your glutes (as seen in the photos provided.) It is important that this feel comfortable; make minor adjustments until you find the correct positioning for your body.
  2. Keep your shoulders slightly off of the ground, while keeping your lower back in contact with the floor or mat.
  3. Keep your head and chin in the same place for the entire exercise. Pretend as if you were holding an orange or a tennis ball under your chin.
  4. DO NOT relax on the way down. Keep your stomach muscles activated during the entire movement. Keep your core and abs tight during the entire exercise.
  5. If you feel this exercise in your back, particularly your lower-back, you are either doing the exercise incorrectly, or your abs are fatigued. REST, and then review the exercise movements and form before attempting the exercise again.
  6. Make sure you feel this exercise in your ABS. Though it is normal to feel some fatigue in your legs and hip flexors.

Leg Raises – Slow and controlled is the key with this “ab shredder.”

  1. With your feet together, raise your legs up just past a 45 degree angle—you can raise your legs up to almost a 90 degree angle—and slowly lower them toward the ground; stopping before your feet touch the ground.
  2. At the bottom of the leg raise your feet should be about 8 to 12 inches off of the ground.
  3. Perform this exercise slowly.
  4. Make sure to keep your upper body stable during the entire exercise.

Ab Scissors Alternating Vertical – The alternating up and down movement forces your core to work extra hard while stabilizing your body.

  1. You are essentially alternating your legs as they individually perform a LEG RAISE.
  2. Begin with one leg at the top of a LEG RAISE, and the other at the bottom of a LEG RAISE.
  3. Switch / alternate your legs in controlled manner.
  4. Make sure to keep your upper body stable during the entire exercise. It is a common mistake to shake from side-to-side during this exercise.

Ab Scissors Alternating Horizontal – This is an isometric hold that combines weight displacing leg movements to work your abs and core. The result…stronger and tighter stomach muscles!

  1. Begin with your legs extended to where they would meet or cross (the midpoint of the movement) while doing AB SCISSORS ALTERNATING VERTICAL.
  2. Hold that position and extend each leg out to your side.
  3. Bring your legs in, crossing the center line of your body. Alternate which leg is higher and lower after each repetition of the exercise.
  4. Switch / alternate your legs in controlled manner.
  5. Make sure to keep your upper body stable during the entire exercise. It is a common mistake to shake from side-to-side during this exercise.
Learn how to effortless follow the entire 101 Series and LIVING HEALTHY. CLICK HERE and SUBSCRIBE today!



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