I selected awesome exercises for each muscle group and can’t wait to share this selection with my readers.
Our mid-section only has 3 main muscle groups and each of them plays a particular role in how our waist and stomach look. If the deep-lying transverse abdominis are not strong enough, the stomach sticks out. The top-sealed rectus abdominis gives us a defined 6-pack. The external and internal oblique muscles are responsible for the waist shape and contribute to that hourglass form that many of us want to get.
If a slim waist and a flat tummy are your goals, you should be focusing on toning and strengthening these muscles. That’s the reason why you need a mix of static exercises, body-weight dynamic exercises, and stretching.
Alternate reach and catchAlternate reach and catch works on the transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis muscles. Just lie flat and bend the knees then move both hands toward your left thigh reaching for your knee. Return back to the initial position, and remember to repeat this move on your left side. Repeat 10-12 times on each side
V-upsThis exercise targets all the abdominal muscle groups: transverse abdominis, obliques, and rectus abdominis. Initially, you lie down, keeping your legs flat and your arms stretched over your head. Crunch and lift your torso and legs off the floor, reaching for your feet. Then return to the starting position and repeat 10-12 times. If it’s a bit too challenging, lift one leg at the time, alternating
Side crunches with a balance ballSide crunches with a balance ball are highly effective for external and internal obliques, because the instability of the ball forces you to activate these muscles to the max.
You’re required to lie sideways with your right hip on an exercise ball. Place your left foot behind your right foot, use a wall if you need extra support. You should then place your hands on the back of your head for support, but try not to pull during the exercise. Crunch upward, lifting your upper body and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10-12 times and change sides and repeat 10-12 times on the other side.
Crunches with a balance ballCrunches with a balance ball work on the rectus abdominis muscles and the transverse abdominis muscles. Choose a ball so when you sit on it, your legs form a 90° angle. Sit on the ball and move your feet forward so your lower back is leaning on the ball. Keep your hands behind your head for support. You should crunch while engaging your core and slowly move back to the starting point and repeat 10-12 times.
But ensure that you don’t pull your head with your hands, your abs should do the work
High plank with hip extensionAll of us “loves” plank. The high plank with hip extension takes this exercise to the next level and targets the transverse abdominis, and the external and internal obliques. You start in a push-up position, keeping your hands under your shoulders and making one line from your head to your feet.
Keeping your upper body still, slowly lift your left leg off the floor, hold for 5 breaths and return to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg and repeat 10-12 times on each leg.
ScissorsThis exercise is a great workout for the transverse abdominis muscles. Start by lying down and place your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and lift your legs. You should then raise one leg up to about a 45° angle and lower the other leg until it’s just 2 inches from the ground. Remember to alternate your legs.
Reverse crunchReverse crunch works on multiple muscle groups, the rectus abdominis, the obliques, and the transverse abdominis. Lie down and place your hands by your sides or under your bottom. Bend your knees at about a 90° angle and then pull your legs to your chest and up, slightly rolling your back. Try rolling back to the starting position while keeping the knees bent the whole time. You can adjust this workout for your own strength, the further you roll, the harder it is.
Side stretchRegular stretching is just as important for getting and staying in good shape as any exercise, but it’s often overlooked. Side stretch works great on the obliques. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your hands by your side. You should then slide your right arm sideways and bend your torso, lifting your right arm up. Wait for a couple of seconds and slowly move back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side and try to repeat 10-12 times on each side.
Abdominal stretchAbdominal stretch is also known as cobra yoga stretch and is very effective for stretching the rectus abdominis. You lie down on your stomach while placing your hands near your shoulders, then push your hands and lift the upper body up, keeping the hips and pelvis on the floor. Pause for 10-15 seconds and repeat 5 times.
Torso twist stretchTorso twist stretch works on your transverse abdominis and obliques. Start by sitting on the floor, stretch your left leg and bend your right leg. Supporting yourself with your right hand behind you, twist your upper body to the right and bring the left arm over the bent knee. Don’t overdo the twist, it should be a stretch, not a strain.
Wait for about 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
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