Basics for abs

Aside from having that great “six-pack” look, your abdominal is an important muscle to your body.  It helps to stabilize your torso and reduce aches and pains in the lower back.  Notice how I referred to the abdominal as one muscle.  That is because the rectus abdominis is actually just one muscle that goes from the rib cage down to the pelvis bone. There is no such thing as lower or upper abs.  When you do an abdominal workout, you are in effect working the entire muscle… even though it may seem as though you feel it in one specific part.  This is called the “I feel it syndrome,” when people mistakenly believe they are only working the “upper” or “lower” portion of their abdominal.

It is also important to remember that when doing abdominal exercises, you may never see your hard work paid off until you lose enough weight to actually see your abs.  You could do crunches all day every day, and you may never see your “six-pack” until you lose that layer of fat that is hiding them. 

When beginning abdominal training (as with all exercises you may start) always start out with basic exercises and work your way up to the more advanced.  Below is just a simple beginner ab workout routine.  I will post more advanced ab workouts soon.

Start off doing 10 reps of each different crunch.  Repeat the entire combination two more times (or as many as you feel you can do) to give you a total of three sets.   This will give you a total of 180 crunches! Good Job!

                   -Add more reps/sets as you feel you can do!

  • Start off with a Basic Crunch    (10 reps)

–     Both hands behind head.

–     Keep lower back on floor.

–     “Pull” Belly button towards the floor.

–     Lift shoulders off floor, engaging core.

  • Go into a Long Arm Crunch      (10 reps)

 –     Keep knees bent, lie back, arms straight out above head.

–     Keep arms close to ears.  

–     Lift shoulders off of floor.

*Can clasp one hand over the other to keep arms close to ears.

  • Verticle Leg Crunch                (10 reps)

–     Place hands back behind head.

–     Legs straight up in the air.

–     Lift shoulders off of floor, reaching cheat towards feet.

  • Oblique Crunch                      (10 reps)

–     Place right hand behind your head.

–     Place left hand on right obliques

–     Lift right shoulder

–     Bring right elbow towards left knee.

*repeat on other side.       (10 reps)

** Always make sure you keep your elbows wide when doing crunches as to not strain the neck.  When doing oblique crunches, be sure that you cannot see your elbow as you come up to ensure the proper technique.  Also remember to keep your belly button in towards the spine and exhale as you come up and inhale as you come down.


About tonicekada

I am a junior print journalism major at West Virginia University. I have two minors in Italian and fitness.
This entry was posted in Workout Routines and Fitness. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Basics for abs

  1. Jonathan Zettlemoyer says:

    Toni! Just read this and I love it. I joined a gym this new year, and I have been researching exercising using the internet and magazines. I like how you explain everything when it comes to a basic ab workout, and you also show pictures to show the form. Excellent job!

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