The most general abdominal exercise is the crunch. Almost everyone has done crunches at some point, even if it hasn’t been since middle-school gym class. The stance is simple. Lie down on your back with your knees bent. They should be comfortable, not rigid. Your feet should be planted firmly about a foot from your bottom and shoulder-width apart. Most people prefer to put their hands behind their head when they do a crunch, but others put their hands at their side or across their chest. Any way is fine; just don’t pull your neck forward with your hands.
Begin a general ab workout by rolling forward slightly more than is comfortable and coming back to the ground. Start with groups of 20 crunches and try to do up to 5 sets of crunches on the first day. Note how many you did so that you can gauge your progress.
How to do a reverse crunch
Another general ab exercise involves what is sometimes called the “reverse crunch.” Though it looks simple, this exercise works the lower abs, which usually are weaker. That means only a few reps often cause strain. Lie flat on your back again. Pull your knees up so that your legs are parallel to the floor, and your knees approach your chest. You should feel the pull in the lower part of your midsection. Hold this pose for 10 seconds and then slowly lower your legs back toward the ground, stopping them about six inches from the floor. As with the crunches, try to do these exercises in sets of 20 for up to 5 sets.
Crunches and reverse crunches work the upper and lower abs, but many people have love handles, which are from excess fat on the sides of the abdominal muscles. The easiest exercise for this area is to stand straight. Lift your hands over your head. Lean to your left as far as you can. Hold and repeat. Then lean to the right. Do as many sets of these exercises as you can to begin to build up muscles on the sides of your abs.
Doing these three exercises is a very good general ab workout to help you get started on making your abs look better. As you get better with these basic exercises, you can look at expanding to other exercises, such as medicine ball crunches, bicycle crunches, or rotating crunches. First work on getting the basics down for this general ab workout.
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