6 Exercises to Strengthen Abs and Improve Flexibility

Although with time, you'll be able to increase the intensity, it's best to start doing activities to strengthen your abs little by little to avoid pain and injuries.
6 Exercises to Strengthen Abs and Improve Flexibility

Last update: 26 May, 2022

For some people, the abdomen is a very difficult area to treat because it’s where liquid retention, fat accumulation, and all kinds of inflammatory discomfort are most easily noticed. For this reason, it’s one of the areas of the body that we want to slim down most and work on in order to show off a slim and defined figure.

The main key to strengthening your abs and maintaining a slim abdomen is to exercise regularly ─with a good workout plan─ and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This mainly means not only exercising, but also eating and resting well.

The advantage of doing so is that we also bring benefits to the spine and other organs and body parts that require activation to remain in good condition. Best of all, you can start doing them at home, so you can forget the excuse of not being able to go to the gym.

To make it even easier for you, below we’re going to share with you the steps to do 6 different activities, so be sure to give them a try!

Exercises to strengthen your abs

A woman doing abdominal exercises.

1. Strengthen abs with the “plank”

The plank is a classic exercise for working muscles throughout nearly the entire body. The key is to focus on your physical resistance while staying balanced and keeping your muscles contracted.

How to do it

  • First, lay face-down on a yoga mat and push up with your arms, supporting yourself on your toes.
  • Keep your back straight and your abs completely engaged.
  • Hold the posture for 45 to 60 seconds, then rest.
  • Start with 3 reps, then slowly try to increase.

2. Elbow plank

This is a different version of the previous exercise. Simply help yourself down onto your forearms, not on the palms of your hand.

How to do it

  • Support yourself on the floor using your forearms and toes.
  • Raise your hips a bit and make sure you keep your back straight.
  • Make a straight line with your body from head to toe.
  • Squeeze in your abs and hold for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 to 5 times.

3. Tree pose

Adults doing the tree pose in a gym class.

The yoga posture or asana known as “the tree” is one of the many that this discipline offers to benefit the musculoskeletal system. In fact, with this exercise, you can tone and strengthen the abdominals and also work on your concentration and balance.

How to do it

  • Lift your right knee to your chest, balancing all your weight on your left leg.
  • Grab your ankle and support the sole of your right foot on the inner left thigh.
  • Try to hold the posture, squeezing in your abs and joining your palms at your chest.
  • Then slowly raise your hands until you can finally rest your gaze on a specific point.
  • Take 10 deep breaths, rest, and switch legs.

See more: The Golden Age: finding inner balance and peace

4. Pelvis lifts

The pelvis lift is a healthy activity that helps strengthen abs and glutes. It takes a little bit of concentration and endurance to hold the position for a few seconds.

How to do it

  • Lay down face-up, bend your knees, and grab your ankles with your hands.
  • Then inhale and raise your pelvis to the ceiling.
  • After that, contract your abs and hold the position, without lifting your feet from the floor.
  • Try to hold for 45 seconds, rest, and repeat 5 times.

5. The starfish

This may be a bit tedious at first, but with practice, it will slowly become easier. The idea is to start slowly and increase speed little by little.

How to do it

  • First, lay down on a yoga mat and lift your arms and legs, as if trying to touch the ceiling.
  • Then raise your head and shoulders from the ground, while also extending your arms and legs out to the side (like a starfish).
  • Carefully lower your shoulders and head while moving back into the starting position.
  • Repeat 6 to 10 times.

6. Knees to chest

Knees to the chest stretch important muscles for daily hip and spinal mobility.
Bringing your knees to your chest stretches important muscles for daily hip and spinal mobility.

This is the last of our exercises to strengthen abs. Lifting your knees to your chest while contracting the abdomen can firm and tone muscles. If you can keep your balance without letting your legs fall down, you’ll also be working your glutes.

How to do it

  • First, sit down on the ground with your legs straight out.
  • Then bend your knees and lift them towards your chest.
  • Hold your shins parallel to the ground and breathe in while slowly stretching.
  • Try to keep your back straight at all times, and concentrate on flexing your abs.

Always remember, in order to get good results with these exercises, you’ll have to do them consistently, while also maintaining a healthy diet.

Try to modify each of these positions to prevent injury. Start today!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.