Abdominal exercises that focus on the rectus abdominis muscle don’t actually do much to strengthen it. Crunches, twists, and sit-ups may not be the most effective exercises for strengthening the rectus abdominis muscle and achieving six-pack abs.
A warning: The abs exercises below may cause discomfort. Despite this, the results are always worth the temporary discomfort.
This suggests that doing ab exercises is just as crucial as exercising any other muscle group in your body. Exercising your abs is essential because…
Ab Exercises Benefits
There are plenty of benefits to having a solid core, even if you’re not interested in six-pack abs. Some benefits include improved speed and fitness and becoming more muscular overall.
According to the Office for National Statistics, almost 31m work days were lost in the UK due to musculoskeletal problems in 2016, with treatment and attributable costs estimated at £12.3bn a year. Canadian research suggests that a core-focused training regime, such as this 4-move back workout, can eliminate back pain, with stationary exercises such as side planks being more beneficial than sit-ups or crunches.
If you’re having trouble increasing the weight you’re lifting, it may be because you’re not doing enough accessory work or because your core is weak. A strong core will help you lift heavier weights for more reps and keep your back safe.
A study found that men who took three hour-long pilates sessions a week for two months saw significant improvements in postural stability tests and exercises.
If you have a strong core, you will be able to keep your torso in a more stable position, whether you are playing sports or just doing chores, according to J. Christopher Mendler, a sports medicine specialist. This will improve your performance in training and everyday movements.
Building a solid core will help you transfer more power to your limbs, making you a better athlete at just about anything.
If you want to become more flexible and agile, try doing core and instability exercises, such as TRX and single-leg moves.
While crunches may not be the best ab exercise, there are plenty of other safe and effective exercises that help strengthen the core muscles. These muscles support the spine and pelvis, and a strong core can lead to better posture, more balance, and less joint pain.
If you’re unsure of how to change up your ab routine to get better results, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best core exercises you can use to create circuits that will have you feeling the burn in all the right places. Just pick five exercises from the list below, switch them up every week, and your workouts will become more interesting and challenging.
Equipment: Yoga mat, towel
You should try to do 10-20 slow and controlled repetitions of each exercise, except for the plank and hollow holds. For those exercises, you should hold the position for 20 seconds to 1 minute. You can do up to 3 sets.
Sit Ups With Towel
To do this exercise, start by sitting in a butterfly position on a rolled-up towel or AbMat. Initiate the movement by lying back on the floor. As you exhale, brace your core and lift your abs off the floor, touching your hands to your feet. Try to keep your feet glued together as you repeat the movement.
If you want to work your abs effectively, put a towel beneath your lower back and do the work with your abs rather than your hips. This position also allows you to use your abs through their full range of motion.
To do this exercise, lie on your back and raise your legs until they are at a right angle with your body. Pull your navel towards your spine and lift your hips a few inches off the floor. Then lower your hips back down to the ground and start the motion again. Keep your hands beside your body and flex your feet towards your face.
If you want to make this move more difficult, try not letting your hips touch the ground during each repetition.
Start by lying on your back with your legs above your hips, then brace your abs and lower your legs as much as possible without lifting your lower back off the floor. Raise your feet an inch, then make small up-and-down kicks with your legs while breathing in and out through your nose.
Make sure your lower back is touching the floor to get the most out of this exercise and protect your lower back. You can raise your feet a little bit if you need to in order to keep that connection, but make sure the exercise is still difficult.
To do this exercise, lie on a bench with your hands holding the bench behind your head. Bring your knees up to your chest, then kick out to the ceiling, raising your body with just your shoulders on the bench. Keep your body straight as you slowly move down. You’ll feel the burn in your abs and your lower back.
Begin by lying on your back with your legs straight in front of you. Bring your knees towards your chest and sit up, touching your heels. Lower yourself back down to the floor and repeat the movement.
Squat down as low as you can without touching the floor, then sit back up. For more of a challenge, lower your legs and torso as much as possible before sitting up. To make it easier, keep your knees bent throughout the movement.
Hanging Leg Raise
To do a V-sit pull-up, first grab a pull-up bar and hang from it with your arms in a V shape. Next, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to your torso, keeping them straight. Finally, slowly lower back to the starting position.
Hollow Body Hold
This is an exercise to improve back strength. To do it, lie on your back on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat. Then lift your hips and upper back off the floor, using your abdominal muscles, and hold for 20 seconds to a minute. Make sure to breathe while you’re doing this.
If you find this movement difficult, it is perfectly normal to keep your knees bent and shoulders raised off the floor. As you get stronger, you will be able to gradually straighten your legs and bring them closer to the floor. The key is to maintain a flat lower back on the floor. Once you find your ideal position, you will not have to put so much thought into getting into position.
To do a side plank hold, prop yourself up on your right forearm and then lower your right hip to the floor. To lift yourself back up, engage your abs. Repeat this on the other side.
Some tips on how to do the yoga move correctly would be to ensure that your hip bones are aligned on top of each other, and that you aren’t leaning too far forward or backward. Additionally, make sure that the elbow that is touching the ground is directly beneath the shoulder, and that the arm not touching the ground is either on the hip or straight up in the air.
Set the cable machine to the highest position and stand with your back to the machine, grabbing the handle with both hands. Step away from the tower and put your feet shoulder width apart. Extend your arms fully and pull the handle down and across your body whilst rotating your torso. Bend your knees and pivot your back foot and slowly return to the start position, swapping sides after each set.
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Use your abs to lift your torso off the floor and reach your fingers toward your toes. Then lower your torso back to the floor. You can help work your lower abs by curling your toes toward your face as you lift your torso off the floor.
If you’re finding it difficult to touch your toes, don’t worry. Just try to get as close as you can. If your hamstrings are tight, you can try bending your knees slightly to make it easier.
To do this exercise, lie on your stomach, then lift your body up onto your forearms and toes. Elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders. Draw your shoulders away from your ears, and squeeze your abs and glutes. Keep your hips, neck and spine in one straight line. Hold for 20 seconds to a minute, and breathe in and out through your nose.
A helpful tip when hiking is to keep your hips level with the ground, rather than letting them raise up towards the ceiling. If this is difficult for you to maintain, try dropping your knees down to the floor and holding that position.
. Lie on your side with your left arm extended on the floor and your right arm bent to your head. Your right leg should be on top of your left leg. Bring your right elbow to your left leg as you raise your body up. You should feel your obliques contracting. Slowly lower down and then switch sides.
To do this exercise, lie on your back with your wrists over your shoulders and your legs over your hips. Keep your legs straight and your bellybutton pulled in towards your spine. To start, lower your right leg and left arm towards the floor then bring them back up to the ceiling. Repeat with your left leg and right arm. Do the same number of repetitions on each side.
If you find it difficult to move your arms and legs independently, slow the movement down. Take a moment to think about which leg and arm you are lowering and which need to stay up. As with most of the other moves, it is important to keep your lower back in contact with the ground. If you feel your back arching, don’t lower your arms and legs as far.