Abdominal muscle exercises

The best known exercises for training the abdominal muscles are probably sit-ups and crunches. However, there are many more different exercises to get the abdominal muscles in shape. The following exercises are aimed at beginners, advanced and professionals, because for an effective training of the abdominal muscles, exercises appropriate to the training level are very important.

Before training the abdominal muscles, you should carry out a general warm-up program so that the body can prepare itself for the upcoming strain. Between the training days, sufficient breaks should ensure that the body can fully recover after a session. An additional small stretching program after the training can have a positive influence on the recovery phase and prevent injuries.

Exercises with low degree of difficulty

  • Crunches are a good exercise for beginners. They are not very demanding and therefore good to start an abdominal muscle training. In the starting position the athlete lies on his back with his legs bent and holds his hands next to his ears.

The elbows should point outwards. To start the exercise, the upper body including the head is slowly raised until the shoulder blades are no longer touching the ground. Once this position is reached, pause for a short moment and hold the tension before slowly returning to the starting position.

There are still some variations and possibilities to the crunches. The lateral crunches, for example, are performed from the same starting position as the classic crunches. However, the foot of one leg is placed with the outer part of the ankle on the knee of the other leg.

During the upward movement of the upper body, it is turned so that the elbow is guided towards the upper knee. Another variation are the cyclist crunches. Once again, the cyclist starts from the classical starting position.

Now the legs are lifted so that a 90° angle is created in the hip and knee joint. Then one leg is alternately stretched out without touching the ground. The upper body is lifted and always turned to the knee, which is angled straight.

  • The next exercise is the lateral leg lifting and trains the lateral abdominal muscles. The starting position is a lateral position with the hips raised off the floor and the upper body supported on the forearm. Now the whole body forms a line from head to toe and is only supported by forearm and feet.

Now the upper leg is slowly lifted and then briefly held in position. Lowering to the floor is done slowly and in a controlled manner. After ten to 15 repetitions the side is changed and it is the other leg’s turn

  • Another exercise for training the lateral abdominal muscles is hip lifting.

As with lateral leg lifting, the starting position is similar. At the beginning the hip lies on the floor differently than in the lateral leg lifting. At the beginning of the exercise the hip is lifted until the body forms a line.

In this position the tension is held and then the hip is lowered again. Here too the side is changed after ten to 15 repetitions. – The half beetle is an exercise that is performed lying on the back and is well suited for beginners.

Starting position is the supine position with both arms lying next to the upper body. The upper body is slightly raised, so that there is tension on the abdominal muscles. Now one leg is pulled alternately and the other leg is stretched. The execution is done slowly and with complete leg extension. In order to avoid a cycling movement, the movement should always be carried out slowly and in a controlled manner.