Whether it is to feel better, look better, or just because it seems everyone else is doing it, the desire to exercise is never a bad thing. Along with improving one’s physical health, exercise is a great way to improve your mental health and make you feel better about yourself. In fact, there really are no downsides to working out.
In the event you have been wanting to start an exercise program but are debating what may be best for you, working on the abs is never a bad place to start
First, take the time to do some research on what kind of fitness program you want to take on, what the time and physical requirements will be, and whether or not it can be done at home or if you will be better served working with a trainer in your own home or at a gym.
In working on your abdominal region, you should keep in mind that there is more involved than just doing a large number of reps involving a variety of abdominal moves. The key is to avoid overextending yourself to the point of injury and/or losing interest in the workouts because you tried to do too much too quickly.
To work on improving your abs, here are some exercises you can give a shot (always remember to start slow and never overextend yourself where you could risk injury):
1. Plank on Elbows – In this beginner exercise, take on a pushup position, but with your elbows bent and your weight placed on your forearms. Keep in mind that your body should form a straight line. Now brace your abs as if someone were going to hit you in the stomach. Hold the position for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and repeat once.
2. Incline Bench Leg Raises – Lie down on an incline bench and stabilize your body by grabbing the bench above your head with your legs extended out. Contracting the lower abs, move your legs up until your hips put your legs in a 90-degree angle. Slowly return to the beginning position, stopping just before your legs touch the bench.
3. Reverse Bicycle Crunch – Stand in front of an armless chair, facing the seat. Keeping your legs straight, bend at your waist and place your hands at the sides of the seat. Extend your right arm forward with your left leg back, keeping your raised arm and leg parallel to the floor. Leading with your elbow, move your right arm under your body while moving your left knee to meet under your navel. Try to place your right arm to the outside (left side) of the knee and do the preferred amount of reps that you are comfortable with. After doing one side, repeat on the other.
4. Twist and Crunch – Secure a mat on the floor and lie down on your back, your hands placed by your ears and your legs perpendicular to the floor. Twist your hips gently by contracting your left oblique muscles; maintain that position. Using your abs, move your right elbow across your body to the outside of your left knee. Slowly return yourself to the beginning position and then repeat the exercise with your left side.
5. Side Crunch on Ball – In this move, firmly place your right hip on a Swiss ball and lean into the ball, ensuring that your torso is off the ball. Support yourself by pressing the soles of your feet against the lower portion of a wall. Place your hands by your ears, and contract your left oblique muscles, lifting your torso up as far as it will go. Hold this position for three seconds and release. After you do your set amount of reps, then do the same with the other side.
These are just a few of the many different exercises you can do for your abdominal region.
Always make sure that exercise is fun, not work. When it becomes work, it is time to reassess why you are working out in the first place.
With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics ranging from setting up office cubicles to implementing an office workout program.