Marlo Alleva demonstrates a single leg teaser

Marlo Alleva demonstrates a single leg teaser.

Everyone is on different levels when it comes to fitness. Many are just starting out, so their levels will be less intense and more focused on basic moves. Then there are those who are more seasoned, and need a little more intensity to keep the body ever changing for the good.

Luckily, most every fitness move and exercise has different variations to fit each individual. And many of those variations are simply by adding a lifted leg, arm, or position change.

Our move today is a single leg teaser. This exercise will be working your abdominals, but you will also be putting your balance to the test. All you need for this exercise is a flat surface.

Begin this move by lying on your back. Bend in the knees and placing both feet flat on the ground. Press your back into the floor by rotating in your hips and engaging your abdominals. Keeping your chest tall and a space in between your chin and chest, you will extend both arms straight up into the air over your chest.

Finding your center of gravity, lift and straighten one leg directly out from your body. And now, you are ready to get moving.

Proceed to lift your upper body off the floor by contracting deeply in your midsection. Use your arms to reach high above you, and lift your extended leg at the same time. Focus on reaching for your toe.

Once you reach your deepest contraction and farthest reach, return to your starting point. Keeping a steady tempo with this exercise, continue into your next repetition immediately. Keep your first set on the same leg. Taking a small break, continue in your next set, with the opposite leg extended.

Give yourself at least two or three sets on each side. Aim for at least 10 repetitions per set.

This single leg teaser is similar to a basic crunch, but slightly intensified with the lifted leg and arms. If at any time you have discomfort while your leg is lifted,place it back on the ground and continue with your lifted arms.

This abdominal exercise is simple enough to perform anywhere, and great added into any abdominal routine.

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

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