Crunch Time

Abdominal Exercises

Working your abs!

Strong abdominals are beneficial for many reasons, core strength, including back stability, and posture.

The best abdominal exercises are the ones you will actually do! When trying to determine the best ab workout for you, it’s important to take into consideration several things:

  • Do you have an injury?
  • How flexible are you?
  • Can you keep your back on the ground when lying flat during a particular exercise?
  • Are you breathing properly?
  • Is your neck strained?
  • These three moves cover most levels of fitness and also accommodations for physical limitations.

This first bicycle move above allows your back to remain flat. Use your hands to pull knees in one at a time, while lifting your head off the ground. Be sure to keep your chin lifted to avoid neck strain.

The second level above is a traditional bicycle abdominal exercise. Allow your elbows to stay open and rotate them to opposite knees.

The third level is the most advanced and is based on dance/pilates style abdominal work. The key here is to keep your back on the ground. I always tell my dance students to press their lower backs to the ground as if they are hiding a million dollars. This exercise can work flexibility at the same time it works your ab muscles. Use your hands to pull your legs closer and switch while pulsing your shoulders off the ground as high as possible while maintaining good form. You can also hold behind the knees or thighs if that’s more comfortable. Again, keep your chin lifted and eyes up.

In all abdominal exercises, exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower. Remember to keep your belly button tucked into your spine as you exhale.

Happy Abs. Less Flab ;0)