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Floor wipers are tough, but they give your abs an effective workout. Personal trainer Mark Twight used these moves to whip the cast of the movie "300" into shape, according to BodyBuilding.com. If the original version proves too difficult, the exercise can be modified to meet your fitness level. Include floor wipers in a strength-training plan that includes all major muscle groups: back, chest, arms, legs, abs and hips. See your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.
About Floor Wipers
Floor wipers exercise your shoulders and entire core, but mainly target the rectus abdominis in the front of your stomach as well as the obliques on your sides. To perform floor wipers, you need a barbell squat rack, or power rack, with weights. Choose an amount of weight that you can comfortably bench press, as you will be holding the barbell above your chest for the duration of the exercise. It also helps to have a mat to lie on, since you will be on the floor the entire time.
Start out with the barbell on the rack about a foot from the ground, and slide underneath it so it hangs above your chest. Push the bar up as though you are performing a chest press, but hold it in place instead of lowering it. Keeping your legs straight and your feet together, lift your lower body toward the bar at a diagonal angle so that your shins meet the left side of the bar. Your back and head should remain flat on the ground. Lower your legs to within a few inches of the ground, and lift them back up towards the right side of the bar. Repeat, switching sides, until you have performed eight repetitions for each side.
Floor Wiper Variations
If you don't have a barbell or you find regular floor wipers too taxing, try a different variation. You can perform a weight-free version by lying on your back with your arms by your sides, hands tucked behind your buttocks for stability. You may also lift your legs straight into the air instead of diagonally.
Floor wipers and other strength-training exercises will build and strengthen your ab muscles, but they aren't the keys to a flat stomach. You can't target specific areas for spot reduction; to lose stomach flab, embark on a reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan that includes 30 to 60 minutes of cardio most days of the week. Cut out the junk food, and instead fill up on fresh or steamed fruits and vegetables, whole grains from whole-wheat noodles, wild rice and oatmeal, and lean protein from egg whites, legumes and broiled fish.