Performing the ab or abdominal exercise should be an integral part of the overall exercise done by a person. The ab exercises / workouts is important because they not only tone up the ab muscles, but also help in strengthening them. But for this is pertinent that the abdominal exercises are done correctly. Given below is a list of exercises for the abdominal. This article also carries instructions on how to do lower Ab exercises in the right way. So read on.
Activating the Transverse Abdominus
This particular ab exercise involves drawing one’s belly button towards the spine. You can choose to do this either lying face downward on the floor or on your hands and knees. In the latter, i.e. the kneeling style, you can feel your belly button pulled in much better. On the other hand, lying on ground will make it easier for you to understand / detect if you are using other muscles. Instructions:
- Draw your belly button inwards as much as possible using your lower ab muscles. Try relaxing all over the rest of your body.
- Keep holding the contraction till you can’t feel it anymore or you begin feeling other muscles constricting more.
- Incase you find this hard to do, then begin by holding the contraction for 10 seconds only. Repeat the same up to 10 times.
- Increase the number of contractions when the process begins to feel easier.
- The total time of the contractions does not have to exceed two minutes.
- When you can hold a single contraction from one to two minutes, then you have adequate strength and stamina now to move on to tougher Ab workouts.
Flattening Lower Back Against the Floor
This particular exercise assists in strengthening muscles that support and protect the low back from injury. Read how to do it.
- Lie down straight on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Relax. In this posture, there will be a gap between your lower back and the ground because of the natural curve in the spine.
- Now lower your abs to touch the ground in such a way that it flattens out completely. The small gap between your lower gap and the ground will not be there this way.
- A pelvic rotation will happen for the back to flatten fully. Ensure that you use abdominal muscles only in this exercise. Keep legs as relaxed as possible. They are not to be used to create the pelvic rotation.
- Begin by holding contraction for 10 seconds. Follow the same routine as described in the previous exercise.
- Remember to take deep breaths while performing the contraction of the lower Ab muscles in this exercise.
Single-Leg Lowering With Bent Leg
- In this abs workout, one leg is kept straight on the ground whereas the other leg is kept in a bent posture all through the duration of the exercise.
- Now slowly raise the leg resting on the ground till the thigh is perpendicular to the ground.
- Next lower that leg slowly till the foot almost touches the floor.
- Raise the leg back with the same pace to the beginning position and repeat.
- Do this exercise with both legs.
This abs workout is beneficial for developing overall core stability of this portion of the body. Stop the exercise instantly incase you feel any pain while performing it. This signals that either your ab muscles are not strong enough for this exercise or you are performing it wrongly. Here is how you need to do it.
- Lie flat on the ground.
- Hands should be kept flat beside the head with elbows on the side on one’s shoulders.
- Keep feet straight on the ground as if about to do push ups.
- Now slowly begin to elevate your body off the ground keeping your belly button pulled in towards your spine.
- Try to stay as straight as possible right from your legs till your shoulders during the movement.
It is your forearms and feet that will support the weight of your body.
- Try holding your body in this posture as long as possible. But do not overexert.
Get back to the original posture slowly.
- Do one to three sets of this ab workout and concentrate on enhancing your endurance with time.
How to Do Lower Abdominal Exercises?
Lower ab exercises are not as easy to perform as workouts for other body parts basically because they demand greater attentiveness and muscle control. In many case, people wrongly substitute this by using additional muscles like hip flexors and lower back muscles. In contrast, few other people try doing abdominal exercises that are too hard for them and end up using the incorrect muscles during workout. The tips below will help enhance the success of lower abdominal exercises.
- Remember that when you exercise your lower abs, you should feel them working more than any other muscles.
- It gets difficult to feel one’s lower Ab muscles once they get tired working out. This is an indication to stop and rest.
- Keep in mind that you should never feel any pain in you lower back when exercising it. Incase you do, then it means that your lower abdominals are not strong enough for this exercise or you are doing it wrongly. In any case, stop instantly when you feel your lower back aching.
- Do not be in a hurry. Do Ab exercises in a slow and controlled way for maximum effectiveness.
Lower Ab muscles mainly work as postural / stabilizing muscles. They tend to stay active at low intensities for long durations and thus, should be trained in the same manner. You can do five to 10 quality reps of an Ab exercise, then your focus should be on performing more reps than doing a tougher exercise.
- Remember to breathe. A lot of workouts need you to contract some of your abdominal muscles with help of correct breathing pattern. Work on taking deeper breaths while doing the exercises.