Abdominal Exercise can make a real difference to the
way you look, but you have to be careful with the type of
exercises that you do.
Ensure when you do ab exercise that
you support your back as much as possible throughout. There
is no easy route to a firm stomach - you are going to have
What Are Good Abdominal Exercises?
The upper and lower abdominal muscles are not really separate
muscles and as such cannot truly be isolated by a single abdominal
exercise, exercises stress the whole abdominal region. However,
some exercises will tend towards developing either the upper
or the lower, depending on what you are after. We've divided
the exercises into upper and lower ab exercises. You can focus
on the upper clusters by moving just the torso and the lower
clusters by moving the pelvis.
Starting Abdominal Exercise
If you have not done any abdominal exercise recently then
you should start with a few easy exercises. Try the Front
Leg Raise, the Stomach
Tuck-In and Waist
Twists. These exercises will prepare you for more intense
ab exercises. Once you feel more comfortable with these exercises
you can move onto both the lower abdominal exercise and the
upper abdominal exercise. If you feel any discomfort during
any of these abdominal exercises then stop exercising. Keep
your movements smooth and slow, and do not overexert yourself.
As with any exercise you should warm up beforehand, and make
sure that you have consulted your medical practitioner.
Lower Ab Exercise
Lying Leg Raises
Firstly ensure that your legs are slightly bent throughout
Lie on your back with your hands, palms down under
Raise your legs about 12 inches off the floor and hold
Make sure the base of your spine is pressed against
the floor (this will ensure that your back has the correct
Now trying to use just your lower abs, tilt your pelvis
and raise your legs a further 6 inches.
Hold for a few seconds then return to your original
Keep going with this exercise until you can feel it
in your abs.
Lying on your back on the floor, hold onto a table
leg to help keep your torso against the floor throughout the
Keep the knees slightly bent.
Pull your pelvis and legs up slowly so that your knees
are above your chest.
Slowly return to beginning position.
Upper Ab Exercises
The Cross-Knee Crunch is a slight variation on the regular
crunch (which you can find out about along with the sit-up
Ups and Crunches).
Like ab crunches, you start by lying on the floor with
your knees bent.
Instead of crunching forwards and backwards you should
crunch diagonally so that you try to move each shoulder toward
the opposite hip, moving shoulders alternately.
At the top position, one shoulder and one hip should
be off the ground.
Ensure every crunch is done slowly to get the maximum
If you find you have problems with your form or balance during
these exercises it may be worth investing in an Abdominal
Exercise Machine. These machines offer back support and prevent
injury. For more information click Abdominal
Find more great exercises in the Exercise
At Home pages.
Choose another Exercise
If you would like some more information on Abdominal exercise
that have a look at our Stomach
Exercise resource page.