Home Basics Exercises Videos Magazines Equipment

Fitness Basics



Simple Ab Strengthening Exercises

Obtaining a flat abdomen depends largely on two factors: your overall body weight and your genes. Some people are genetically predisposed to gain weight around the abdomen; other people have a pooch around their abdomen because they are overweight. If you are overweight and you want to achieve a washboard stomach look, dieting needs to be a part of your overall abdomen exercise routine. If other members in your family carry weight on their abdomens, don't despair. You may not ever have a perfectly flat abdomen, but exercises that target the abdominals will lessen the overall size of your abdomen and help you to stay in shape too. Here are some of the most effective, and simple, exercises that will strengthen and tone your abdominals.

Abs and Walking

Walking will tone your abdomen, help you to lose weight, and tone your overall muscle structure. If you are unable to walk outside, join a gym and use the treadmill. Walking with a partner may also help you to stick to a walking regimen. As you walk, concentrate on maintaining good posture and keep your stomach and abdomen tucked in. Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.


Tone Your Abdomen with Crunches

Crunches, also known as "half sit-ups", are serious abdomen toning exercises. Try to do some crunches at least once a day, and keep increasing the number of crunches you do. Lay flat on your back with your knees raised and your feet flat on the floor. Lace your fingers and place your hands underneath your head with your palms up. Use the muscles in your abdomen to lift up the upper half of your body, and slowly move back to the resting position. Keep your elbows on a horizontal level and your eyes on the ceiling. Repeat this exercise as many times as you can.

Leg Lift Exercises

Lie flat on the floor, legs together, and place your hands underneath your bottom. Without lifting your head off the ground, keep your legs together and lift your legs up as far as they will go. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your legs back to the ground. Repeat as many times as you can. Leg lifts will definitely tone your abdomen area, but they can be difficult to do at first. Do not become discouraged if you can only do one or two of these a day; keep working at it and soon you will have a better looking abdomen.

Broom Twists

Broom twists are simple, effective, abdominal exercises that you can do at home. Take a broom, or another similar object, and hold the broom at a horizontal level behind your head. Stand with your legs apart at a comfortable distance. Without moving your hips or legs, twist from the left to the right in a fluid motion as many times as you can.