In this post, we provide you with a very basic abdominal workout routine.
The abs should always be a focal point for any all-round fitness program particularly if you are playing or participating in an active sport.
Powerful abdominal muscles combined with a strong lower back, glutes, hip flexors, rotators and gluteals all combine to ensure we have reliable core stability and balance.
Basic Abdominal Workout Routine Exercises
Of all the exercises around that can develop great abs, the basic floor crunch is probably the best and most simple to do abdominal strengthening exercise.
Remember to warm-up well before carrying out any exercise.
All you need to do is lie on the floor (preferably a carpeted floor, or a mat of some kind), put your hands beside your head, bring your knees together, and place your flat feet on the floor about a foot from your hips.
Start by pushing your lower back down, almost like you are trying to make a dent in the floor. Then begin to roll your shoulders up, keeping your knees and hips stationary. Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back.
The range of motion on this exercise is very limited. Your shoulders actually come off the ground only a few inches.
Hold this position and flex your abdominal muscle as hard as you can for a count of one, then slowly lower your shoulders back down to the floor, but never stop pushing down with your lower back.
Take your time on this exercise. It’s not a race and its not a contest to see who can do the most sit-ups.
If you take your time and do the exercises properly 12 reps of this basic routine will leave your abdominals burning.
This exercise will focus on the oblique abdominals which are to the side of the core abs. Its important to develop all the ab muscles to ensure true core strength.
Lie flat on your back with your hands beside your head and your knees bent.
Let your legs fall as far as they can to your left side so that your upper body is flat on the floor and your lower body is on its side.
Press your lower back down into the floor, while you roll your upper body slightly up until your shoulder blades clear the ground.
Concentrate on the obliques (the muscles on the sides of your waist), and contract and hold the crunch for a count of one.
The key to making this exercise ultra-effective is to hold that contraction. (Most people don’t do this -they simply lift up and then lie back down).
After you’ve held that contraction, slowly lower to the starting position, count one, then perform the next rep. Once you have completed the planned number of reps on side, switch to your left side and repeat the same instructions.
For this exercise you will require a “decline bench” that will allow you to hook your feet. This is a great exercise for your lower and middle abs.
Position yourself on the bench with both your feet locked in with your upper body perpendicular to the bench so that you have to contract your abs just to stay in place.
Place your hands on each side of your head just behind your ears or infront of you in a cross armed position. The important thing here is to make your arms and shoulder neutral and not involved in the move.
Lower your upper body while your contract your abs.
Go back about one foot taking care not to go all the way down.
Hold and flex extra hard for a count of one then crunch back up to the starting position.
When your strength improves and you can do more than 12 reps, grab a 10lb weight plate and perform the exercise as described whilst holding the weight against the chest.
Bent-Knee Leg Raises
Lie flat on a padded or carpeted floor with your hands under your hips and palms facing down for support.
Lift your head slightly off the floor but do not bring your chin to your chest.
Begin by lifting your legs of the floor whilst you simultaneously bend them at your knees and pulling your thighs up towards your chest.
With your knees approaching your chest, contract your abdominal muscles and slightly lift your pelvis of the floor.
Then slowly straighten your legs and bring them back down to the floor watching that they do not rest on the floor.
Hold your straight legs and feet just off the floor for a count of one and then bring them back up.
Check out these plank exercises for more ways to strengthen your core abdominal muscles.