Abdominal muscles have always been the quintessential token of “being fit”, the focal point on which people fix their forward stares and fitness related goals. And it’s not just a six-pack you’ll get; maintain strong abs, and you’ll help prevent back pain, boost your agility, and increase your flexibility.
In all reality, it takes a lot more than just high reps of many assorted abdominal moves to develop an envy worth set of six pack abs, or even a flat or moderately toned stomach.
Aside from planks and stomach vacuum, this is our take on a top 10 abdominal exercises (in no particular order) that you can do at home – no equipment required!
Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Placing your hands on the on either side of your head, but not locking them in, start rolling your elbows from the floor while pushing the small of your back down in the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles. Continuing to push down with your lower back and keeping it on the floor, contract your abdominals and exhale, rising your shoulders about four inches from the floor in a slow and controlled movement. As you reach the position contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second, then come down slowly to the initial position while inhaling.
2. Hanging Knee Rise
Grabbing a bar and hanging, let your body is still down and your legs become straight. Brace your core and use your abs to raise your knees toward your shoulders. Make a small pause when the tops of your thighs reach your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat. To make the exercise more difficult, keep your legs extended when raising the knees. To include obliques, move your legs sideways when raising them.
3. Boat Pose
Beginning in a seated position with the knees bent and the feet resting lightly on the ground, position your hands behind you and lean back slightly, engaging your abs. Next, extend your arms straight out in front of you, then extend your legs, creating a V-shape with your torso and legs and hold the contraction. Breathe comfortably throughout the move.
4. Bottoms Up
Start by lying flat on your back. The legs should be straight and your arms at your side. You continue with tucking the knees toward your chest by flexion of the hips and knees. Next, extend your legs directly above you so that they are vertical with respect to the ground and elevate your pelvis to raise the glutes from the floor. After a brief pause, return to the initial position.
5. Plank With Hip Extension
Start in standard plank position. As always, the most important element of a good plank is a neutral spine. When in position, lift one leg up behind you, keeping your body flat and both the extended and supporting legs straight. Repeat on the other side.
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