How to Do Abdominal Exercises Correctly

You must round your back to correctly work your abs.
i Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

A common mistake made when trying to work the abs is not flexing the spine. The main abdominal muscle, called the rectus abdominis or the six-pack muscle, mainly functions to flex your spine. If you are doing situps, do not raise the torso with your spine straight, because this would mainly target your hip flexors. Rather, flex your spine in addition to flexing your hips to engage your rectus abdominis. Doing situps and crunches also works your obliques, another muscle of the abdominals. If you perform these exercises correctly, you will surely notice improvements in your abdominal musculature.

Crunches

Step 1

Lie face-up on the ground or on the stretcthing mat.

Step 2

Bend your knees past 90 degrees, and put the soles of your feet on the ground or mat.

Step 3

Bend your elbows, and cross your arms in front of your chest.

Step 4

Flex your spine until your upper back is off the ground or mat. Focus on the contraction of your abdominals, and exhale during this upward motion. Hold the contraction at the top of the motion for one to two seconds.

Step 5

Extend your spine until your upper back is in contact with the ground or mat. Inhale while you execute this downward motion. If you have trouble keeping your feet flat on the ground, have a training partner press your feet to the ground. If you are training alone, put a weight plate over each foot to correct this issue.

Situps

Step 1

Lie on your back on the ground or on a stretching mat.

Step 2

Bend your knees past 90 degrees, and place your feet down on the ground or mat. Bend your arms, and cross them in front of your chest.

Step 3

Raise your torso off the ground or mat by flexing your spine and flexing your hips. Keep elevating your torso until your chest is close to your knees. Exhale during this upward phase of the movement.

Step 4

Hold the abdominal contraction for one to two seconds once you are close to your knees.

Step 5

Lower your torso to the ground or mat by extending your spine and hips. Inhale during this downward phase of the movement.

the nest

×