Basic Core Strengtheners
Here is a basic set of abdominal exercises for those just starting out. A few of them target lower abdominals which are really important to support the lower back. Others target the entire set of abdominal muscles. It is important to have a strong core for many reasons. Your core supports your body during most activity, when you are sitting, standing or playing sports.
Medicine Ball Crunch with Physio Ball
Have your feet up on the ball to support your lower back and to put it into proper position. Once this exercise becomes easier, lift your feet off the physio ball and hold your legs at 90 degrees with your lower back pressed against the floor. Hold a medicine ball directly above your chest and shoulders. Lift your shoulder blades and head straight up off the ground, trying to touch the medicine ball to the ceiling. You do NOT want to curl your neck or reach towards your knees. The motion is upwards!
Try 3 sets of 10 or 3 sets of 15.
Bend your knees and dig your heels into the ground. Lean back so your back is at a 45 degree angle with the ground. You can either go very slow or very fast. Keeping your shoulders back and down, twist and tap your hands on each side. If this becomes easier, lift your feet up and tilt farther backward. you can also hold onto a medicine ball and tap it on each side to make the exercise harder.
Try 3 sets of 10 or 2 sets of 15.
Start with your legs at 90 degrees. You will be doing what is called a posterior pelvic tilt. Pull your belly button into your spine and posteriorly tilt your pelvis. Then one at a time tap your heel to the ground. Alternate legs. If you feel like your lower back is pulling up from the ground do not go down as far to the floor.
One leg tapping.
Planks are an amazing exercise for your entire body. The key is to have proper form. You want your whole bod to be in a straight line. You want your shoulders pinched down and back so they are in proper position. Your elbows need to be directly underneath your shoulders. Engage your quads (squeeze those quads!!!) and press your heels backwards with your toes digging into the ground. Hold this position.
Start holding a plank for 10 seconds 10 times. Work up to 20 seconds 5 times, then 30 seconds 3 times and finally 60 secs!
These are just a few exercises to get you started. Doing these exercises doesn't mean that you are going to have a 6 pack next week but it will work on those abdominal muscles from all different angles. Start planking!!