Let’s be honest: many of us want to have killer abs. Workout programs dedicated to this muscle group have probably found their way into your email, apps or YouTube more than once. Contrary to what you may think, doing a million crunches will not be as effective as combining strength training with cardio workouts. Instead of investing in workout plans, accept the challenge and take up regular abdominal exercises to achieve the desired effect. And don’t be fooled, they are not for lazy people! ;)
When exercising your abs, keep in mind that your lumbar region should touch the ground at all times (unless the exercise requires otherwise). Focus on working your abs alone to isolate these muscles from the other parts.
You should also be aware that exercises such as ‘crunches’ are not the best way to get rid of fatty tissue in the abdominal area, especially for women. They can exacerbate abdominal separation or back pain, and people with the best abs do multi-joint exercises and enjoy moving in general. If you are interested in pelvic floor muscles and core strengthening, listen to an interview with Małgorzata Włodarczyk, a urogynaecological physiotherapist known as Ms. Physiotrainer [Pani Fizjotrener].
That is why, with a pinch of salt, we are demonstrating 5 abdominal exercises you can do without getting up from your bed, but remember to exercise your entire body – it is the best thing you can do for it.
Best abs exercises you can do while lying down
Oblique muscle exercise
- Lie flat on your back and bend your knees, placing your feet about 20 centimetres from your buttocks.
- Stretch your hands along your torso.
- Raise your shoulders and arms and alternately touch your left ankle (with your left hand) and your right ankle (with your right hand). The important thing here is to bring your ribs close to your hips so that you work your oblique abdominal muscles, and not only your arms.
‘Bicycle crunch’ for lower abs
- Lie flat on your back, making sure your lumbar area is touching the ground.
- Lift your legs up and do the bike crunch.
- For the best results, try to maximise the distance between your knees and your chest. This exercise works the lower abdominal muscles.
Rectus abdominis exercise
- Lying flat on your back, place your hands along your torso or under your buttocks.
- Straighten your legs, lift them upright, and then lower them down slowly.
- If you want to work your abs harder, lift your head and shoulders and do not put your feet on the ground.
Short abdominal crunches
- Lie flat on your back and bend your knees.
- Bring your arms in front of you, lift your head and your shoulders to pull your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Do short abdominal crunches with your arms straight between your knees. Reach as far as you can.
More advanced ab workout
- Lie flat on your back, straighten your legs and extend your arms above your head.
- Raise your arms and legs straight at the same time, hold for one minute.
- Do three sets.