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What is a good exercise to strengthen my abdominals?

Chair Crunches
Muscles worked: abdominals

  • Starting point: Seated, back straight, arms at sides, hands gripping the bottom of the chair, feet flat on the floor, knees bent and over toes, legs pressed together.
  • Action: Lift your knees straight up, keeping the bottom of your feet parallel to the ground. Exhale while you lift your knees, and inhale as you bring your feet back down to the floor. Complete one 1 set of 10 to 12 repetitions.
  • Tip: For extra workout points, keep your back off the backrest, and do not lean heavily on your arms.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

Chair Crunches with a Twist
Muscles worked: internal obliques

  • Starting point: Same as regular chair crunches, but instead of gripping the chair, clasp your hands behind your head and push your elbows out to the sides.
  • Action: Lift your left knee straight up. As you do so, twist your upper body to the left side until your right elbow meets your left knee. Return to your starting point. Repeat, only this time lift your right knee straight up and twist your upper body to the right until your left elbow meets your right knee. Complete one set of 5 to 6 elbow-to-knee touches per side.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

    A good exercise to strengthen the abdominals is the prone iso-ab, or plank, exercise. Perform this exercise by following the technique described below. Lie on your stomach with your feet together and forearms placed on the ground. Clench your fists under your shoulders, draw-in the belly and squeeze your butt muscles. Lift your body off of the floor and raise up until your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Hold the top position for a few seconds, return to the start and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. If this exercise is too difficult, other exercises to consider are the quadruped arm opposite leg raise, or the standing cable torso iso-rotation.

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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.