Types of Ab Exercises and Their Benefits
There are many myths and misinformation in relation to this popular exercise – abdominal crunches. Some say that you should not do ab exercises every day, while others say that they only help to give you a nice figure; and there are those who argue that for them to have any effect at all, you must do at least 1,000 abdominals in each routine. Find out in the following article what types of ab exercises there are and what each of them accomplish.
Tips for performing ab exercises
Before learning what different types of ab exercises exist, it’s good to learn some basic points about them. The most important point is to do them correctly. But… what is the proper way to do abdominal exercises?
For example, you must be very careful with the back, and above all, the neck, which are the two regions most affected by a wrong movement. Your arms should be as open as possible so that the crunch is performed by the stomach and not another part of the body.
Moreover, it is good to know that you cannot lose belly fat by only doing these exercises (even if you do a thousand each day), but these must be combined with aerobic exercises and a good diet. It is not necessary to do a lot of one kind of abdominal exercise in the same routine, but rather several different kinds for each type of muscle, that is, obliques, upper and lower.
The abdominals are muscles that must be worked several days in the week and then rested on the other days. If they are overworked, muscle fatigue and injuries may occur. If you are working the upper muscles or the oblique muscles, you should not bend the head or close the arms when lifting your body up.
Why is it necessary to do ab exercises?
To prevent back pain
Exercise is the most effective treatment for neck and back pain, etc. But be careful, it should always be a specific activity that does not damage the area further. If you do not have a major illness in your spinal column, ab exercises can make your back even stronger.
To improve body posture
If your abs are strong, not only will it help define your figure, but it will also improve your posture, by keeping your body upright. On the contrary, when we have weak abs, we tend to hunch our back and shoulders forward, which creates additional pains.
To combat swelling
The abdominals serve to flush toxins and fats, as well as excess fluid, from the body. They keep the stomach and intestines in top form. If we have toned abdominal muscles, the intestine can do its job better and we will avoid constipation.
To prevent sagging
Of course having nice abs is very important to our physical beauty. These exercises help us to combat the sagging which often occurs after pregnancy, abrupt weight loss or loss of many pounds, by the weakening of the tissues with the passage of time or lack of muscle tone.
What different types of abdominal exercises are there?
The following types of abdominal exercises are those that you probably do without realizing it. Pay attention to each one of them and find out what happens when you do it.
Standard Ab Exercises
The standard abdominal are those where the movement “isolates” the abdominal muscles, that is, only this part is worked. To do them, you lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. It can also be done with your legs straight, raised or resting on a bench. Your hands are slightly behind your head. Flex your stomach muscles and raise up as high as possible, keeping your lower back pressed to the floor or mat. Return to the starting position.
Ab exercises with ropes or a band
The elastic band contracts and that is what gives resistance to the movement and crunching of the abdominals. You need to kneel under a pulley with a rope or band. Hold it with both hands and pull down, behind your neck, until your hands come to your chin level. Then bend your hips and allow the weight to straighten your back. Lean forward slightly to contract the muscles. Pull the elbows out. Keep your hips still and maintain the tension all the time.
Ab exercises with thrust
These are performed with dumbbells or a barbell. Lie on your back on a bench with a steep incline. To keep from moving, lock the feet in place and take the dumbbell or discs (with or without the bar). Stretch your arms at your sides. Lean forward to lift the upper torso as high as possible. Then return to the starting position.
Ab exercises with a stability ball
This is a very interesting exercise that allows you to activate the lower part of the abdominals and also have more strength in the torso by activation of certain muscle groups. To perform these abdominal exercises you must sit on a ball and walk your feet forward, twisting with your back. Bend your hips and knees, letting your head and shoulders hang. Place your hands behind your head and bend forward to the waist level. Keep your lower back against the ball.
These serve to increase the strength in the lower part of the abdomen. You must lie down with your legs and arms outstretched. Your palms are flat on the floor. Raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the ceiling. Raise and lower the legs without bending and without ever touching the floor. Another option is to bring your knees to your chest and stretch your legs until they are parallel to the floor.
Abdominals with a twist
These exercises serve to work the oblique abdominals, that is, the sides of the body. Lie on your back, with knees bent and feet supported on the floor. Put your hands behind your head. Lift yourself like you are going to do the standard ab workout, but once you have risen, turn your torso to the right. Lower yourself and repeat by twisting to the left. Remember to always keep your elbows open.