Strong abs are about more than just a six-pack. Building a foundation of strength in the core is essential for improving posture and balance. It’s also important in supporting the back to prevent injury or even to help with current back pain. Today, we are going to be working on strengthening the abdominals. Be sure to learn how to perform these exercises and learn the proper technique in order to protect the neck and get the most out of your ab workout. I’ve provided a description of each exercise below. YouTube is also a great tool to use.
This routine consists of four abdominal exercises and will all be done using an exercise ball.
*Perform each exercise back to back, then take a 30 second rest and repeat 2 more times.
Exercise Ball Crunches (20)
Exercise Ball Oblique Crunches (10 each side)
Crunches with Feet Elevated on Exercise Ball (20)
Exercise Ball V-Pass (10)
1. Lie on the exercise ball with the curvature of your back resting on the spherical part of the ball. Perform crunches with arms either by your side or crossed over the chest. Keep the motion slow and controlled, rather than bouncing on the ball. On the way down the torso should curve over the edge of the ball, keeping the head in line with the spine at all times.
2. This time, you will rest with your back straight on the ball, rather than curving over it (you still want to curvature of your back on the spherical part of the ball, just don’t fall over the edge of the ball). You will keep your hands behind your head, and on the way up for your crunch you will twist to one side, then slowly lower back down to the middle. One the next rep you will twist to the other side, and keep alternating sides each time.
3. Lie on the ground and rest the feet on top of the exercise ball. From here you will perform 20 regular crunches.
4. Lie on your back on the floor holding the exercise ball in your hands with arms straight out overhead and legs extended straight on the floor. In one motion, tighten the core and lift your legs and arms off of the ground to meet in the middle. Pass the ball by placing it in between your lower legs. Squeeze the ball with your legs and lower the legs and arms back down, then bring them both up again and pass the ball back to your hands.
This is a great way to add a little spice to your ab routine. Keep in mind that this routine is between intermediate and advanced. If it is too hard for you, all of these exercises can be down on the ground with no ball.