Your Appetite and MetabolismOctober 6, 2021
Upper-Body ExercisesOctober 8, 2021
Abdominal Muscles Exercises
You must work for all the abdominal muscle groups. The abdominal muscles are complex and consist of the upper and lower abdominals and the obliques, the abdominals at the sides. A common misconception of many people is that by doing “churches” they have worked all the abs and that’s all that’s required. Later they wonder their tummies are not perfectly flat or don’t look like “six-packs”. Doing generic crunches only works one portion of the four major abdominal groups.
- Reverse Crunch
A reverse crunch works the lower abs.
- Lie down on your back. You can do this using a bench or the floor as the exercise platform.
- Breathe out as you raise the knees and legs up toward your belly button. Keep the back flat against the ground or bench. Keep the neck relaxed.
- When you abs get stronger, you can use an adjustable bench and tilt the bench in a downward slope so that you are lifting more of the lower part of the body upward against gravity. Hold on to the bench with your hands over your head or at the sides when doing incline reverse crunches.
- Traditional Ab Crunches
- Put the back of your legs flat on top of a chair so you have a 90-degree angle between the thigh and leg. Tuck your chin in toward the chest and support your neck by looking your fingers the neck and keeping the elbows parallel. Keep the neck still and relaxed and supported by your interlocked fingers.
- Lift the shoulder and chest above the ground. Be careful not to move your chin or neck about, since this may produce undue neck strain. Your neck should not feel strained if properly supported by your locked hands and
fingers. You should feel tightness-contraction in the upper abdomen. When you are stronger and if you do not have a back problem, then try to go all the way up, almost touching the elbows to the knees.
- To work the “side abs”, come up and turn, slightly pointing one elbow toward the opposite knee. Come back down and alternate the motion toward the opposite knee.
- Lateral Twists-Lateral Ab Exercises
Once you have gotten stronger at the abs with the other two ab exercises you may want to add the advanced lateral twists that exercise the oblique (side) abdominal muscles. These are often neglected by most people who exercise. This will require a lot coordination and balance and works many muscles at once.
Get a weight plate of 1 to 5 pounds. Lie back with a small towel. Roll in the small of your back. Hold the plate in front of you and come up holding it away from the body with the arms straight at the elbows. Your back should be at about a 30-to40-degree angle to the floor. Once you are stable, then, while keeping the arms out straight, rotate/twist to the left while keeping the right lower back on the towel. Go as far as comfortable, then come back to the center and repeat. Take a break. Then repeat the same with a twist to the right side. A medicine ball also can serve the same purpose as a weight plate. I personally prefer a medicine ball for my own lateral twist exercise workouts. It is easy to hold a small medicine ball. This exercise will tighten your neck muscle. If you have a necka problem, go slow and use a lighter weight. Do it under supervision or avoid this exercise.My own neck occasionally hurts. After slowly building up using this lateral twist exercise, I have been able to strengthen my neck and feel better overall. It is a powerful trunk and ab exercise. Part of the reason for weak abdominal muscles and the “bulging gut” is that we all sit a lot plus we accumulate fat within the abdominal cavity. While we sit, the “ab” muscles go slack and get weak.
I recommend that during sitting at work you do some “ab” exercises daily. While sitting at your chair, hold your back straight and extend your legs and alternate a scissors motion with the legs or do a pedaling motion by raising and lowering one leg at a time without letting the legs touch the ground. you also can hold both legs/knees together and raise them together straight upward toward the belly button-a reverse crunch. You should be able to feel contractions (tightness in the lower abdominal muscles). By returning the legs to the right of center and lifting them up toward you and then to the left you will work both the side and lower abs.