Whether you are after toned six-pack abdominals, a stronger core, or just an overall better physique, these exercises will help you tighten and strengthen the abdominal muscles.
1Do some abdominal stretches to prepare your muscles for exercise. Stretching is a healthy way to begin any workout, as it readies your muscles to be strengthened, making your workout more effective. This exercise is especially easy--it can be done at any time, even without a yoga mat.
2Do the lotus pose in yoga. The lotus pose is even simpler than the abdominal stretch (unless you're very inflexible), and it improves your mental and emotional well-being in addition to your physical health.
3Do some crunches. Crunches are the ultimate abdominal exercise, an extremely effective way to isolate your abdominal muscles and make sure your hips don't get in the way of your workout.
4Do the full boat pose in yoga. This will help your abs become more toned and aid your digestion/respiration.
1Do exercises for your lower abs with an exercise ball. Performing knee raises, reverse crunches, and lying straight leg lifts with your exercise ball requires areas of the abdominal muscles that are normally hard to work out.
2Do exercises for your upper abs with an exercise ball. These exercises use the exercise ball as both a support and an intensifier, contributing to more fluid movements.
3Do abdominal curls with an exercise ball. Upper abdominal curls are similar to crunches, but are made more intensive by using the rounded surface of the exercise ball to create a high-impact movement.
4Do angled-heel crunches. This exercise provides a medium-intensity workout, and is a more difficult variation of the classic crunch.
1Do sit-ups now. Sit-ups are similar to crunches, but work out a greater proportion of the abdominal muscles.
2Do the revolved half moon pose. You'll need to concentrate on staying balanced at first, but once you've gone through this workout several times it should come naturally to you.
3Do some open leg rocker exercises. Building from a lower intensity routine to higher intensity moves, this exercise is the perfect compromise for those who prefer a less strenuous workout. Use a rocking movement with inverted legs to engage both the abdominals and the back.
4Do a few standing abdominal exercises to finish off. Standing exercises work out different muscle areas within the larger abdominal group, providing you with a more complete exercise.
- The benefits of this exercise are increased strength and flexibility in your abdominal muscles.
- You should be taking breaks to drink water and massage your muscles as you do these exercises. Most of them aren't too strenuous, but you don't want to tire yourself out before you get to the Cool Down section.
- Potential injuries that may be incurred if this exercise is performed incorrectly are abdominal, back, and neck muscle strains.
Things You Need
- Yoga mat
- Exercise ball