Fundamental to doing abdominal muscle exercises is building core strength, meaning that all muscles in the abdominal region must work (especially those that support the back) during the period of a workout to prevent pain being caused by some muscles overworking, compensating for those that aren’t working quite so hard.
The range of stomach exercises is therefore just as vital as the type of exercises carried out during training. The exercises that are done must not compromise the back by straining it as the back affects posture, thus affecting training.
The key to each of the stomach exercises below is to hold the stomach in for the exercise to have a full impact on the muscles. Doing this also creates the ultimate core strength required to do each of the movements for a long period of time; making the most out of the training session.
An abdominal exercise that supports the lower back:
Positioned supine on a mat, bend one leg so that the foot is parallel to the knee of the other leg. Put both hands palm up underneath the curved region in the middle of the back and slowly and repeatedly lift the neck and shoulders up so that the shoulder blades are lifted just off the mat. This stomach exercise is perfect for the middle and lower abdominal muscles.
Stomach exercise for the upper abdominal muscles and side stomach muscles:
Named the “ballet twist“, it appears deceptively simple but combines core strength with stretch and really works the upper abs and sides to their maximum on both sides of the stomach.
The lower abdominal muscles:
These are often the most difficult muscles to work during training, as, in day-to-day living, they tend to do less work compared to the upper abs and therefore need more encouragement to be worked. The “air bike” is the most ideal out of all stomach exercises for this troublesome region as it is dynamic, making it perfect for training as it keeps the muscles working throughout the whole exercise.