Q: What kind of abs work should I do?

A: The big hoopla these days is around doing “functional moves” – exercises that recreate movements you use in daily life – to work the whole core as a unit. People also like to talk about your transverse abdominals – the ones targeted when your Pilates teacher tells you to “pull your bellybutton into your spine” every five seconds – as they are supposed to be the muscles that holds everything in. The top 5 best core exercises according to Andrew Heffernen in Experience Life magazine are the Birdog, the log roll plank, anti-rotation arc, stability ball roll-out and the farmer’s walk. (Click through to see pictures and instructions.) Other current favorites include push-ups and planks. I also know a lot of women that swear by Pilates to get that flat lean look.

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