Student Health: All About Abs

April 6, 2009  

By Marissa Adamany
madamany@smu.edu

Here are the top four exercises to work your abs. These are the cream-of-the-crop ways to strengthen that core, helping you perfect your posture and balance.

All of these exercises are easy enough to do at home, so there is no excuse for skipping your ab workout. Take five minutes out of your day, do 20 of each kind of crunch, repeating three times. Let’s get started on that summer bod!

  • Bicycle maneuver: Lie on a mat with your lower back in a comfortable position. Bring your knees up to a 45-degree angle. Slowly go through a bicycle pedaling motion, alternating your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. The lower to the ground your legs bicycle, the harder your abs have to work.
  • Ab crunch: Lie on a mat on your back. Make sure that your lower back is relaxed against the mat during this exercise. Bend your knees until your legs are at a 45-degree angle. Keep both feet on the floor. Place both hands behind your head. Contracting the upper abs, raise your head and upper torso off the floor until your shoulders are slightly lifted. Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of your head touching the floor.
  • Reverse ad curl: Lie on the floor with your back relaxed and your hands on the floor with your hips. Keep the upper back pressed into the floor throughout the exercise. Contracting your abs, raise your rear and gently roll your hips off the floor, stopping when you feel a full contractions of the abdominals and can no longer lift your hips.
  • Double crunch: Lie on the floor, face up. Bend your knees until your legs are at a 45-degree angle with both feet on the floor. Contracting your abdominals, raise your head and legs off the floor toward one another. Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of your shoulders and feet touching the floor.
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