I've become obsessed with toning my core lately. I may do nothing else for the entire day, but before bed each night I try to do at least 10 minutes of abdominal and core exercises.
A friend showed me some really good yoga-type moves, and I've found these tighten my stomach more than crunches, bicycle legs, or modified sit-ups ever did. See, here's a picture of me at right -- don't I look great? (Only kidding. In my dreams.)
Seriously, my favorite move is the plank. It's really working, which is why I've been inspired to find even more yoga or Pilates contortions to suffer through.
I've discovered that these days, there's no need to pay good money for an exercise DVD, or to even take a class if you're motivated enough to work out at home. There are literally tons of great exercise demonstrations on the Web.
A couple moms were trading online exercise video sites in Answers, so I took their advice and did a quick search on YouTube. A caution: On YouTube, there's no way to know if these "instructors" are certified or not, so they may be giving you unsafe or ineffective advice. Use your judgement, check with your doctor or other fitness pro if you have any doubt.
But some make perfect sense and seem safe to try. The video quality is usually pretty poor, but as long as you can see the move and hear the instructor, it's all you need.
Here's one I found of an instructor doing Pilates core-strengthening moves. She makes it look so easy and has such good form, so I'm pretty sure she's doing it correctly.
Another great site the Answers moms mentioned is Exercise TV. This is a commercial site that uses certified fitness professionals.
The only challenge I see is how to actually follow along. I don't have the gadgets necessary to stream my computer to my TV in the living room. That will give me something to ponder while I'm holding my plank position tonight.
Do you do exercises from the Internet? How has it worked for you?