Doing the same abdominal exercises over and over again will eventually be ineffective, because your body gets used to the motion. To continue to see results, you must keep challenging yourself. You can surprise your abdominals by incorporating new exercises into your workout routine. Windshield wipers, for instance, make for a nice change of pace. This exercise challenges the rotational strength of your core, and in addition to your obliques at the sides of your waist, it also engages that often hard-to-tone lower part of your rectus abdominis. For the best results, make sure you that you learn proper form.
Lay face up on a padded mat and extend your arms out to your sides to form a T-shape with your body.
Raise your legs directly above your hips, bend your knees slightly and flex your feet so the soles face the ceiling.
Pull your belly button in and press your lower back toward the mat. Imagine trying to flatten your tummy as much as you can and getting rid of the space between your lower back and the padded mat. Keep the contraction in your abdominals throughout the exercise to help stabilize your body and support your back. This is your starting point.
Drop your legs slowly over to your right side, but keep your torso facing forward. Keep your upper body as still as possible. Only rotate your lower abdomen. Count to three as you lower your legs to ensure you’re not just dropping your legs. Combat gravity the entire time, and stop the motion of your legs right before your right leg touches the floor.
Pause for one second and exhale, and then use your abdominals to reverse the motion, bringing your legs back in a vertical position as you count to three.
Rotate from your waist and slowly drop your legs over to your left side, stopping the descent when right before your left leg touches the floor. Exhale and pause for one moment as your legs hover above the floor.
Reverse the motion, raising your legs back to the starting point. The motion of your legs should mimic that of windshield wipers, hence the name of the exercise.
Perform as many windshield wipers as you can do with good form, working your way up to finishing two or three sets of eight to 12 reps.
To make windshield wipers more challenging, bring your arms closer toward your body so you can’t use them as much to help balance your body during the range of motion.
If you’re not strong enough yet to do windshield wipers with your legs straight, rotate your lower body while your knees are 90 degrees bent. This reduces the lifting load and makes the exercise slightly less challenging.