Abdominal Exercise Programs

Don’t overlook abdominal exercises when you’re planning your workout. Abdominal exercises are an essential part of a complete fitness routine, but are often overlooked, or given only a few cursory minutes at the end of a workout session.

Abdominal exercises are an invaluable element to any fitness programme because:

  • Strength in this area helps to support your lower back
  • Your trunk is the core area for all your body’s movement
  • These muscles can improve your whole posture
  • All sports require strong abs
To make sure your abs are included in your workout every time you visit your gym, it’s a good idea to work them at the beginning of your programme, or insert some abs work in between the other parts of your programme, while you’re resting after a cardiovascular session, for example.

Your abs workout needn’t be boring – there are plenty of different ways to strengthen and develop these muscles:
  • Mat work can include a variety of stomach crunches and twists
  • Use a Swiss ball to make your stomach crunches 70% more effective
  • Try using an abs cradle – an apparatus which supports your neck
  • Abs machines enable you to work against resistance to increase efficiency
Make sure you do enough repetitions to tire your muscles, as this will help to increase their strength. However, it’s important to be realistic about your abs workout. You can’t create a washboard stomach in a couple of visits to the gym – it will take time. What’s more, if you overdo it by trying to do 1000 repetitions a day, you’ll not only end up with painfully sore muscles, you might even injure yourself.