Abdominal exercises are an integral part of every exercise regimen. Whether you are trying to lose inches from your mid section or carve out a washboard, your exercise plan needs to include a stomach exercise.
Before you dedicate your life to stomach crunches, spend some time experimenting with different exercises because not all stomach exercises are going to give you the results you want.
What You Should Focus on with Stomach Exercises
You have three areas of your stomach that you need to attend to when you do abdominal exercises. There’s the upper abs, lower abs, and the oblique abs.
Beyond that, abdominal fat comes in many varieties. For example, there’s the subcutaneous fat that exists just below the skin. This is fat that is visible around your stomach area. The fat that is packed in beneath the surface in the abdomen is called visceral fat.
This is the most dangerous and is barely noticeable. In fact, people with flat stomachs can still have dangerously high amounts of visceral fat.
You should engage in stomach exercises that help tone your stomach but also eliminating the fat that settles beneath the surface of your stomach.
Sample Stomach Exercises
You want to make sure you exercise your full stomach range. There are a variety of exercises that accomplish this.
Get into a pushup position then lower onto your elbows. With your back straight, lower one knee to the floor and extend one leg behind you so that only the ball of that foot is resting on the floor.
Hold this position for 10 seconds and then switch knees. Continue to alternate 5 times on each side.
As you firm your abs, you want to also lengthen them to prevent skin or fat rolls from protruding from your stomach. This exercise will help lengthen your abs as well as tone them.
Lie on your back and place a small, rolled up towel under you buttocks. Elevate your knees keeping your feet together and flat on the floor.
Tighten your abdominal muscles while pushing the small of your back into the floor.
Hold this pose for 5 seconds and release. Repeat this routine 5 times.
Remain on your back, but remove the towel. Elevate both feet so that your thighs are at a 90-degree angle.
Keeping your abdominals firm, lower the ball of one foot to the floor at a time (do not allow your rib cage or lower back to rise). Alternate legs 5 times or as many as you can do without arching your back.
Using a chair, lie on your back and rest your heels on the chair and relax your back muscles. Perform an abdominal crunch movement using your leg or hip muscles. Complete 5 reps (or as many as you can do without the aid of your legs or hips).
This routine will help tone your oblique abs. Lie flat on the floor keeping your lower back flat. Put both hands behind your head and elevate both knees to a 45-degree angle.
Bring your right knee forward and touch it to your left elbow then bring your left knee forward to touch your right elbow. Complete 3 sets of 12-to-15 reps.
To add a variation to this exercise, when touching your elbow to the opposite knee, extend the other leg out straight and alternate this movement throughout the 12-rep cycle.
A critical thing to remember about stomach exercises is that your body won’t respond to every exercise. Therefore, you need to experiment with a variety of exercises to find those that will bring the best results of tightening all of your abdominal areas.