Ab Exercises: General Info

Few bodybuilders would argue against the importance of abdominal exercises in order to look good. But ab exercises are also important to enabling a person to feel good and perform well. Your body’s core, the area around your trunk and pelvis, is related to every physical action you perform. It is also the location of your center of gravity. By doing upper and lower ab exercises and having strong abdominal muscles, you also strengthen the support system for the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, and hips. This provides increased protection for people with lower back problems and injuries. Strengthened ab muscles also allow for greater controlled movement, and a more stable center of gravity. While this is important to increasing performance and guarding against injury in any athletic endeavor, it is also important for nearly any physical activity, including sitting. Strong ab muscles help you to sit properly without slouching; this supports the lower back and is important for people sitting at a desk for long hours.

The frequency of abdominal exercises

Ab exercises should be done at least three times a week. Select exercises that work all of your core muscles simultaneously. Rather than concentrating on the number of repetitions, your goal should be to exercise with proper form. Make sure to breathe, with full inhalations and exhalations, throughout each movement.

You can even perform abdominal exercises whilst at home

There are numerous ab exercises that you can perform in your home, even while watching television. The simplest is the regular sit-up, or ab crunch, that everyone knows how to do. In this exercise, lay with your back on the floor, and bend your knees to allow your feet to lay flat on the floor; your arms can be crossed in front of your chest, or to add more resistance and to support the neck, they can be locked behind your neck or the back of the head. Using your ab muscles, slowly lift your shoulder blades off the mat. After completing a full slow exhalation, slowly return your back down to the floor. Do not use your arms to pull upwards on your head or neck. Your abs should do the work, and your hands are only there to support your neck muscles. Try this exercise on a stability ball in order to engage more of your core muscles and create an additional challenge. Using a stability ball for ab exercises is an excellent way to strengthen your core, as well as to add variety in doing regular ab exercises like the plank. If you tire of doing isolated ab exercises, try yoga or Pilates, which are both great for strengthening your ab and core muscles.