We've been singing the alphabet song multiple times a day at my house; it's kind of a pre-kindergarten musical cram session. Since my darling 5-year-old loves to count my push-up reps (great for practicing her numbers), I now combine her lovely singing voice with my new fave abdominal exercise. I lie on my back, point my toes to the ceiling, and write the ABCs with my feet while she slowly recites the letters. Slowing down the song helps her actually separate the middle letters of the alphabet (gone is the slurred "ella mellow pea" that long took the place of letters L through P), and I get homemade musical accompaniment.
For more specifics on this great exercise keep on reading.
- Lie on your back and bring your legs up one at time so your toes are pointed toward the ceiling. If your hamstrings are tight, go ahead and bend your knees a bit.
- Pull your abs deeply to your spine and bring your low spine toward the floor. If your abs are weak, place your palms on the ground under your pelvis. This will give you a little lift and help protect your low back until your abs become stronger.
- Think of your toes as the point of a pencil and write the alphabet in lowercase cursive on the ceiling. The bigger you make the letter, the more you work your abs.
- Do not let your low back come off the floor when writing letters with tails like F, G, P and Q. Really use your abs to anchor the top of your sacrum down.
- To dot the I and the J, do a Pilates hip up.
If you love using the alphabet in your gym routine, here are two more exercises for you:
- Ankle alphabet: a little prehab exercise to strengthen your ankles and feet.
- Medicine ball alphabet abs: Grab a weight ball and write your ABCs while standing. Up the ante and do this exercise on a BOSU.