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Abdominal Exercises You Can Do at Home

On Saturday, October 4, 2008 by NASMPRO Editorial Team

 

These exercises will help you develop core strength and don't require a lot of equipment.  The Floor Crunch can be done on any flat surface that's comfortable for you.  The Reverse Crunch can be performed using a picnic table bench rather than a weight bench.  You do need a stability ball for the Ball Crunch with Rotation, but these are relatively inexpensive and can be used with hundreds of other exercises (plus you can use it as chair when working on a computer or watching TV, and you'll burn more calories!).

1.    Floor Crunch (view exercise)

  • With your feet/knees hip-width apart, bend your knees at 90 degrees and point your feet straight ahead.  Find your neutral hip position, contract your glutes, and draw in your bellybutton to maintain this position.  Keep your arms folded across your chest, and your chin drawn in.
  • Draw your abdominals in and slowly crunch your upper body to a position in which you can maintain neutral hip alignment.  Keep your chin tucked in to prevent a forward-head posture.  Hold the top position 2 seconds and slowly return to the starting position while maintaining the drawing-in maneuver.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions at a slow pace.

2.    Reverse Crunch (view exercise)

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight, your hips neutral, your bellybutton drawn in, and your chin tucked.
  • Curl your legs up toward your chest while maintaining body alignment, and without changing the angle at your hips.  Hold the end position for 2 seconds and then return your legs to the starting position with control.  Do not allow your back to arch as you lower your legs to the floor.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions at a slow pace.

 

3.    Ball Crunch with Rotation (view exercise)

  • Sit on the ball and walk your feet out so the ball is positioned in your middle to lower back.  The closer the ball is to your lower back, the more difficult the crunches will be.  Place your feet/knees hip-width apart, bend your knees at 90 degrees, and point your feet straight ahead.  Find your neutral hip position, contract your glutes, and draw in your bellybutton to maintain this position.  Hold your hands as shown.
  • Draw your abdominals in and slowly crunch while rotating your upper body to a position in which you can maintain neutral hip alignment.  Keep your chin tucked in to prevent a forward-head posture.  Hold the top position 2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position, rounding your back over the ball while maintaining the drawing-in maneuver.  Repeat to the opposite side.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions at a slow pace.

 




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