Three Ab Exercises for a Better Body
The plank has many variations, but the ones that work the best for beginners are the side, reverse, and normal plank. For the regular plank, lie on your stomach with your forearms against the ground, and then lift yourself up so you are supporting yourself with your toes and forearms. Keep your back straight, as if you were a table, and hold it for as long as you can. Try and do reps of a minute or longer, with three reps in a set to work your abs and core. For the side plank, turn so you are on your side, and use your forearm to push yourself up, raising your other arm into the air for balance. You will be supporting yourself with a single forearm and your feet. Once you do one side, switch so that you can work on your other side. This really works on your side abs and core. The reverse plank is simply the regular plank but on your back. Use your forearms to raise your stomach towards the ceiling, and try to keep your body as straight as possible.
Lay on your back, with your hands behind your tailbone or at your sides. Raise your legs roughly six inches from the ground, keeping your legs straight and your toes pointing towards you. Move your legs so that you are making circles, preferably small and tight, with your feet. Do them for as long as you can clockwise, and then switch to counter clockwise for the same number of reps. This works your lower abs and thighs very well, but can be painful for beginners. Be careful, and don’t push yourself too hard while attempting this exercise.
Crunches are just like sit ups, but are a little more accessible and can be done in a variety of different ways to work different parts of your core. Standard crunches require you to lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet touching the ground. Lift your chest up with your stomach muscles, making sure not to use your neck or arms to move yourself, so that your shoulders are no longer in contact with the ground and you feel your abs clench. Lower yourself slowly; doing crunches slowly, with about 5 seconds per crunch, will give you a better workout then doing them quickly. You can also raise your legs into a V shape, keeping them straight, and reach in between them as you perform your crunches to work your upper abs. Only try doing V crunches once you have mastered normal crunches and have built up some abdominal muscle.
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