5 Tips for abdominal exercises
1) The Bridge
The bridge sounds fairly simple and effective and it is because it stimulates your abdominal muscles without using anything but your body weight. However, your technique might need some intervention.
When completing a bridge you have to lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your arms flat by the side you can begin to raise your hips towards your head or the wall behind you. However, when you raise your hips you should not rely on your back to help lift your hips upwards. This can aggravate your upper back and cause injury. It also exerts less pressure on your lower abdominals and that nullifies the affects of the exercise.
2) The Plank
People seem to love the plank. I love the plank and I know you love it too. Its effective and simple but it can be easily misused. You need to keep you back straight as an arrow because if it curves you can become more susceptible to injury. Also, if you let your hips lose tension you will not be fully realising the effectiveness of the exercise.
When completing a plank you should extenuate your hips because they will carry much of the workload. Make sure you pull your hip bones together so you can incorporate your pelvic floor (muscles close to your bladder). If you start shaking real quickly, you are doing the right technique.
3) The Sit-up
The sit-up is the archetypal abdominal workout. It has been around for years and with so much time comes a lot of inherited misguidance. Many personal trainers now prefer the alternative to sit-ups and these are called pelvic tilts.
Lie on the ground with your knees bent with your feet on the floor. Engage your abs and flatten your back against the ground. Furthermore, you should tilt your pelvis in either direction so you can make an arch in your back. Hold the tension so you can achieve the maximum results of this exercise.
4) The Mountain Climber
This workout has a fairly ambiguous name but believe me it does not involve you climbing a mountain. However, you may look like you are climbing in a static position. This exercise really utilises your core and it is fairly simple since it only requires a safe space and some rhythm.
From a high plank position you can keep your body straight and hips level with each other. From then you can lift your right foot and draw your right knee to your chest between your hands. Then you can alternate and do the same with your left knee. Continue to switch between the two as quickly as possible while making sure you keep a tight core.
You could also bring your knee to outside the opposite arm and change this workout into a cross body climber. If you get stuck trying to complete this workout just do the same but cross your knee. It is all in the name.
5) Straight Leg Raise
The straight leg raise is a great way to stimulate your lower abdominal muscles. Again, this exercise just utilises your bodyweight and more specifically your leg weight.
Start by lying down on the floor in a face up position. Make sure you place your hands on your lower back and you brace your core. Straighten your legs and lift them slowly of the ground. Bring your legs to an angle of 90 degrees and then slowly lower them back to the ground. You will feel your abdominal muscles tighten. This a positive sign because it shows that it is working. If you have any pain in your lower back you should not do this move. This will make the pain much worse.
This article was written by Luke from Origym. He is a personal trainer who often leads people through core body exercises.