When people think of “abdominals” they usually think of the “six-pack” muscles that you commonly see talked about. But, in reality, the abdominals include all the muscles that make up your “core”- the Rectus Abdominus, External Obliques, Internal Obliques, as well as a few others. Since there are so many muscles involved in this core group, it takes several exercises aimed at each of these to produce the best results and give you the total all-around strength that you need in your mid-section.
The following group of exercises are designed to do just that…as well as add a little “spice” to you workout. Years of doing the same exercises can get boring. On top of that, a new exercise or two may be just the thing you need to get past that sticking point you have. Take a look at these great exercises and pick one or two or three and give them a whirl!
Let’s get started!
Ab Exercises 1-3
1.) Abdominal Hold
This is the sort of move that looks so crazy, you may not want anyone to catch you doing it. That is, until they see the results. Then they will beg you to see it!
- Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.
- Tighten your abs and bring your toes 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Lift your butt off the chair.
- Hold this position for as long as you can — aim for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Lower yourself down and repeat.
- Continue this exercise for 1 minute.
Related: Get The Tight Midsection You Want
2.) The Hundred
A Pilates move that doesn’t require you to use anything. When you are done, you will say “Wow.”
- Sit tall on the mat with your knees bent by your chest and your hands at your sides.
- Lie down with your knees bent and your palms facing down.
- Exhale and raise your head and shoulders off the mat.
- Vigorously pump your arms 6 inches up and down, reaching with your fingertips.
- Inhale for 5 pumps, then exhale for 5 pumps. Be sure to curl your chin in toward your chest.
- Do 100 pumps, or 10 full breaths.
- Try to keep your lower back pressed in toward the floor and keep your lower abs pulled in toward your spine. You should keep your abs engaged this way throughout the workout.
Related: Amazing 6-Pack Abs Made Simple
3.) Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
This one is good to do during your workout warm-up. It will make you feel longer, steadier, and seriously balanced. Your core will thank you!
- Begin on all fours, aligning your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders.
- Raise your left arm to shoulder height and your left leg to hip height.
- Hold for 2 counts, reaching forward with your fingers and back with your heels.
- Repeat this exercise on the opposite side.
- Do 15 to 20 reps, alternating sides.
Related: How To Strengthen Your Core