What are some exercises I can do for my abs?

To exercise your abs follow this two-day-a-week routine. If you're serious about taking your core muscles to another level, this routine really concentrates on your abdominals. While you wouldn’t want to train other muscle groups more than once per week, abs are a different story and can benefit from the extra work. Just separate the workouts by three to five days to recover from soreness and go for it!

Training Day 1
  • machine abdominal crunch: 30 reps
  • hyperextension: 15 reps
  • high-cable pulldown: 25 reps
  • side-to-side bend: 25 reps
  • hanging leg lift: 15 reps
  • bar twist: 15 reps
Training Day 2
  • decline crunch: focus right and left side, 15 reps each; straight, 20 reps
  • leg raise off bench: 20 reps
  • bar twist: 30 reps
  • side-to-side bend: 30 reps

Abdominal exercises have endless possibilities.  Each and every exercise that is completed has some form of a modification and this modification may help make the exercise easier or more challenging.  Below will be two examples of exercises to complete:

1.       Plank – A standard plank is very challenging even for very fit individuals.  To start lay face down on the ground.  Take both of your arms and lock them along your sides, keep them parallel.  Following, take your toes and tuck them under flexing your feet towards you.  Next, engage your abdominals and squeeze your glutes.  Lift your body, breath, and hold.  Attempt to hold for :30 seconds or build up to :30 seconds.  If you are unable to lift then hold yourself in a more extended position, have your arms fully extended in a push-up position, and be sure your arms are straight down at chest height.  If too easy, then hold for longer!

2.       Bridge – Lay on your back, bend your legs bringing your heels close to your hips.  Engage your abdominals and lift your hips off the ground, driving the weight through your heels.  Form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees squeezing your glutes then entire time.  Return just prior to the starting position and complete 10-15 repetitions.  If you want a challenge, complete single-leg bridges.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Learn about some dance exercises that can help to shape up your abs in this video with Dr. Oz and Stepp Stewart.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.