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Today’s Workout column: Weighted bar toe crunch works core

Marlo Alleva
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Marlo Alleva demonstrates a weighted bar toe crunch.

The gyms are opening back up, and our fitness is becoming less restrictive. Things may not be exactly what we are used to from a few months ago but, day by day, our choices are multiplying.

Between limited hours, and limited use of equipment, creativity still plays a huge role.

Our move today is a weighted bar toe crunch. This exercise will be working your core. You will need a flat surface and a weighted bar for resistance. That could be a weighted bar from your local gym, or you can be creative and add extra weight to a broomstick at home.

Begin this exercise by lying flat on the ground. Gripping your weighted bar in both hands, extend your arms straight up over your chest. Then, extend both legs straight up into the air, creating an L shape with your body. Make sure to engage your abdominals by pressing your back into the floor and rotating your hips and you are ready to start your crunch.

With your bar in hand and your feet elevated, proceed to crunch in your midsection and push the bar upward toward your feet. Keep the move somewhat slow and methodic to keep your balance. Remember to keep a space in between your chin and chest to keep pressure off your neck.

Continue your lift to your deepest contraction, then slowly return back to the start. Keep this crunching motion going for at least 10 repetitions. Take a small break and repeat this exercise for at least three sets. If you need more resistance, add more weight to your bar. If you need less, lose the bar altogether and just reach for your feet with your hands.

This abdominal exercise is great on its own or added into any core work out. And the best part, it can be done at home or in the gym!

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.