7/06/2013

4 EXERCISES FOR TIGHTER ABS

 In my article "We All Have Six Packs", I highlighted some benefits of having strong abdominal muscles. Besides looking good physically, other benefits include: better breathing, improved posture, resulting in less back pains, helps a person avoid injury when performing tasks that put stress on the back and torso, and helping the body to heal faster after an injury or surgery to the spine.



No doubt, exercise helps strengthen your abdominal muscles. I have highlighted below four exercises which I have found effective. I currently do these exercises at least thrice a week.

Long Lever Crunches


You start by lying face up on the floor, one leg up and the other extended, just like in the image below, both arms should also be extended. 


You lift your arms, upper body, and the extended leg together, to form a “v” shape and then go back to the start position. You should do about 10 repetitions on both legs. Focus on your posture and breathing. You exhale when lifting up and inhale when going down. Your eyes should be fixed on the ceiling , chin up and away from your neck. It is better to do 5 repetitions in good form than 20 repetitions in a bad posture. You should also contract the tummy when lifting off the floor.



Vertical Leg Crunch


Lying on your back, lift both legs up, crossing one leg in front of the other. Support your head with your hands. 


Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, crunching the abdominals. Do 10 repetitions, and then switch legs.


Plank

Start by lying on your belly. Lift your chest of the floor, using your elbows for support.


Lift yourself off the floor, supporting yourself on your elbows and feet only. contract the tummy in as you hold the pose for about ten seconds. Try to keep the back as parallel as possible and the abdominal muscles contracted during the pose.


Side Plank

Start by sitting sideways on your hips, the top leg crossed over the bottom leg. Supporting yourself with the inner arm, lift off the floor. extending the other arm upwards. Contracting the abdominal muscles, hold the pose for about ten seconds.


Remember you are to warm up the body before beginning any exercise to prevent injury. you should also do a cool down and stretch after exercise.
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