Abdominal Exercise Routines: 4 Essential Movements
Your abdomen is one of the main parts of your body where fat accumulates, especially if you don't work out. The excess fat, besides looking unattractive, can prevent you from performing different movements and can make it even harder to define the area.
Having a strong abdomen can considerably improve your performance in other sports, or even in daily tasks. Working out your abdominal muscles is very easy and doesn’t require a lot of time. Therefore, we encourage you to include these abdominal exercises in your training routines!
Doing cardio, having a good diet and a lifestyle without stress can guarantee a healthy belly. However, doing abdominal exercises frequently is very beneficial.
What are abdominal exercises?
Any exercises that involve the temporary or prolonged contraction of the muscles in your abdomen are abdominal exercises. It’s important to maintain strong and toned abs because many exercises that work other parts of your body also involve work from your abdominal area.
With that being said, an abdominal exercise routine should compliment your existing training. That means that you must do aerobic exercise and other workouts if you want to achieve a good level of general fitness.
You can repeat this routine two or three times a week, and on other days work on other parts of your body. But, of course, don’t forget about your rest day!
Before starting any kind of workout, you need to warm up. To achieve this, you can jump rope or jog for 5 minutes. There are also other different and quick warm-up activities that you can do to get ready and start training.
Once you’ve warmed up and your muscles and joints are ready, you can start with the routine:
Hold and roll
This exercise is about rolling on the floor while you hold your legs and arms in the air.
You’re probably thinking how strange this exercise seems, but it’s actually really effective because it works your entire abdominal cavity. It’s a typical exercise in rhythmic gymnastics and ballet.
Follow the next steps to do this exercise:
- Lay face down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you.
- Look straight ahead and join the palms of your hands together to improve your balance.
- Now, raise your arms and feet from the floor as high as you can (it’s important to not flex your knees or elbows).
- Roll your body slightly until you’re on one side of your body, but be careful to not touch the ground with your hands or feet. Use only the strength of your abdominals and stay in that position for 2 seconds.
- Keep rolling until you’re on your back and once you’re there, focus your energy on holding your feet and arms away from the floor.
- Repeat the procedure 15 to 20 times.
Most abs exercises are exhausting and intense, so you might want to listen to music while you perform them to keep up your motivation. This next exercise simulates a ‘V’ shape. There are two different ways to do it.
- Isometric way: lay on your back and raise your torso and stretch your legs until you form a ‘V’. To keep your balance, stretch your arms a little lower. Now, keeping your arms firm, move them up and down quickly. Maintain this position for at least 30 seconds.
- Regular way: lay on the floor facing up and raise your legs and torso while you try to touch the tips of your toes. Then, return to the starting position and do 2 sets of 20 repetitions.
This exercise is really important in this routine. This is because it not only works your abdominals but your back as well. To do it, we recommended putting a yoga mat or quilt on the floor; this will prevent you from getting bruises on your knees.
If you want to improve the effectiveness of this exercise, you can use an elastic band around your legs. Put it in the middle of your calves.
Doing this exercise is very easy: get on your knees, place your hands on the floor, keep your back straight and don’t look down. Now stretch your right arm right in front of your and extend your left leg as high as you can. Stay in that position for 30 seconds and repeat with your left arm and right leg.
The plank shouldn’t be missing from any abdominal exercise routine, because it’s really effective in achieving a flat stomach.
To perform the elbow plank, lay with your face down and support your body with your elbows. Then stretch your legs and use your toes to lift your body up and off the ground. Your hips must be close to the floor, but not touching. The goal is that your whole body is straight and firm. Hold that position for two sets of 30 seconds.
Remember to stretch after your workout and stay hydrated. Working out your abdominals is a great way to keep a healthy body and a fresh mind. So what are you waiting for? Start with this easy but effective abdominal exercise routine. Get firm and strong abs today!