Floor wipers are a type of exercise that works the upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as hip flexors. The exercise offers a number of variations depending on strength and equipment. You can incorporate floor wipers into your weekly ab routines, or do them separately. Floor wipers gained popularity following the release of the movie "300," as the men in the film sported rock-hard washboard abs. Floor wipers were part of the actors' workout routines. Floor wipers are designed for those already in decent physical shape, so if you're not, start slow and easy.
Lie on your back on the floor, arms out to your sides, hands placed palm side down on the floor. Your feet should be together. You may also perform this exercise on a bench, holding onto the bench above your head for support. Lift both legs toward the ceiling until your feet are situated above your hips. Next, holding in the abs, lower your legs toward the floor on your right, touching the floor with your toes if you wish. This move should be slow and controlled. Hold that contraction for a moment and then lift the legs upright again. Immediately lower the legs to the left side of your body, hold for a few moments, and then return to your starting position. Do this exercise until you tire.
Weight Bar Variation
Place a heavy, weighted bar on the floor, with between 50- and 75-lb. weight discs placed on each end. Lie down under the barbell, legs together and extended. Grasp the bar and either leave it on the ground or hold it above you. Use spotters at all times for safety. Keeping the feet together, lift the feet and legs off the floor, extending them toward the left weight plate. Immediately lower the legs and attempt to extend the feet or shins toward the right weight plate, according to the video routine provided by YouTube.
Static Floor Wipers
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs and feet pressed together, suggests New Trier Township High School. Press your hands, palm side down, on the floor by your sides. You may also cross your arms across your chest, depending on comfort level and physical ability. With your right hand, try to touch your right knee, keeping the right shoulder on the floor. Hold that position for several seconds and then release. Repeat the exercise on the left side. When crossing your hands over your chest, try to pull your right or left shoulder in the direction of the corresponding knee, keeping the working shoulder pressed to the floor.
Exercise Tips and Considerations
Prior to your workout, perform a 10-minute warm-up with activities such as a brisk walk, slow job, jumping jacks or stair climbing. This prepares your muscles for the task and helps reduce the risk of injury. If you haven't exercised for several months, get the OK from your doctor before starting a new fitness program.