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Strength Training: Hard Core Abs

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A toned stomach looks fabulous and boosts confidence—all while making you a stronger, speedier runner. Get on the fast track to sculpted abs by taking your workout up a notch with a medicine ball. This versatile tool adds weight to almost any exercise, tightening your tummy in record time.

When training your abs, it’s important to think beyond the basics. Sit-ups and crunches only work the front of your stomach. To increase overall strength and get a solid middle from every angle, you need to perform core exercises that also target your hips, lower back and thighs.

By using a medicine ball, you can hit different sides of your center. And strictly speaking, it’s a stronger core—not abs —that will make you a better runner. In order for your arms and legs to move as efficiently as possible, every muscle in your middle must be toned to help your moving limbs work together to create fluid motion.

Perform this powerful workout three times per week to perfect your waistline and improve your race times. Using a 3- to 10-pound medicine ball, perform all reps of the first exercise. Rest for 30 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise. After you’ve completed the final exercise, start from the beginning and perform one more circuit.

This workout is strong medicine—but the results are more than worth the effort.

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