Abdominal exercises are a type of strength exercise that affects the abdominal muscles. These muscles help stabilize the spine, allow us to breathe properly, and flex our knees. When abdominal exercises are done correctly, these muscles will strengthen our core, improve our posture, and give us the flexibility and endurance to do any exercise. Here are a few abdominal exercises.
The plank exercise is good for transverse abdominis and targets more muscles than moves. To start a plank position, stand up straight, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Your arms should be directly under your shoulders at shoulder height. Lean forward until your forearms touch the ground; hold this position for 30 seconds. Come back up to standing without bending your elbows or leaning back. If you find yourself reaching for your toes or arching your back, try holding onto something solid like a wall or door frame to prevent this. Do 2–3 sets of 20 repetitions.
Crunches are suitable for the rectus abdominis. To start the crunch exercise:
-Sit tall with your arms crossed over your chest and hands resting on your thighs.
-Raise your shoulders off the floor, keeping them back and down (like a bicep curl) while crunching your stomach and lifting your head towards the ceiling. You should feel your abs working hard to keep your body straight.
-Hold this position for two counts, then slowly return to the start position before repeating.
-Do 1–3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Side plank is good for obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis and helps you avoid strength imbalances. To start a side plank, get into a pushup position with your hands underneath you. Lift your torso off the floor and rest your weight on your elbow and forearm. Keeping your core tight, raise your upper body high enough to ensure that your hips and shoulders are perpendicular to the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Do 2–3 total sets of 15 repetitions.