Many people are on a quest to achieve a “flat stomach”. The obsession with the abdominal area can cause frustration, anxiety, and can even lead to eating disorders. Unfortunately for many people it is not physiologically possible to achieve a flat-stomach. Our abdominal muscles are not designed to be flat. Instead, they form a rounded and not flat, shape. Gender, age, and individual body types can affect the size and shape of your abdomen. The fact that millions of peoples desire a trim waist is what keeps the ab equipment industry booming. Unfortunately, many of the abdominal exercise gadgets on the market are ineffective and sometimes even unsafe.
Exercises remain the best option towards toning up your abdominal muscles and being in good shape at the same time. These exercise do not help you lose fat from this area. The fact is that abdominal exercises will tone your abdominal muscles, but you will have the same layer of fat on top of these muscles unless you create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume.
Some of the most popular abdominal exercises are:
Lying leg lifts
Lie on your back on the floor and hook your toes under a heavy piece of furniture.
Bend your knee comfortably and keep them bent throughout the entire set. This helps to relieve concentrated back strain.
Place your hands behind your head and lock your fingers together.
Curl your head, shoulders, upper back and lower back slowly in succession off the floor until your torso is perpendicular to the floor.
Hold the upright position for a second and reverse the movement slowly until reaching the starting point.
This is the most commonly used abdominal exercise. Lie flat on your back and place your calves on a flat bench seat.
Place your hands behind your head with fingers interlaced together.
Perform the following movements simultaneously:
a.Pull your hips from the floor using your lower abdominal muscles.
b. Raise your shoulders and back from the floor using your upper abdominal muscles
c. Force your shoulders in moving them towards your hips
d. Exhale hard
Hold the contracted position for a slow count of 1-3 seconds.
Keep repeating this movement until fatigued.
Lie on your back on the floor or an inclined board with your head toward the raised end.
Grasp the end of upper bench with your hands to stabilize your body.
Bend your leg 15-20 degrees or until you feel your back relax.
Use your abdominal muscles to raise your feet in an arc to a position directly above your head.
Repeat until the desired number of repetitions is complete.
Add resistance by raising the incline angle of the bench or by holding a light plate or dumbbell between your feet.
Lying leg lifts
This exercise targets the lower abdominal muscles.Lie on your back on the floor with your legs flat on the floor and toes pointing up.
Raise your legs 6–12 inches off the ground concentrating on the lower abdominal muscles.
Inhale while lifting your legs and slowly exhale out while returning the legs back to the initial position.
Place your hands under your buttocks when performing lying leg lifts