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Top 10 Abdominal Exercises

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Semi Legs Flexed Up


Primary Muscles:
Lower Rectus Abs

Semi Legs Curl Muscles

Secondary_Muscles: 
Upper Rectus Abdominus, Obliques

Level of Difficulty: (7/10)   

Scale 7

Repetitions:  
     10-15 Reps - General toning

 Instructions 

  • This exercise is particularly demanding and works the transverse and lower abdominals.  
  • Lie on you back in the set-up position but this time raise legs vertically.  
  • Keeping your shoulders on the ground slowly kick your feet up vertically keeping your  back on the floor. 
Teaching Points  
  • Support your back by drawing your lower back into the mat while you raise both feet off the mat  
  • Keep your core mucles contracted throughout  
  • Exhale as your legs go up and inhale as they return 
  • Avoid using your arms to generate the movement  

                                                                                                             

  Adaptations  
  • Decrease the range of movement 
  • Increase the angle in the knees 
  Progressions  
  • The shorter / tighter the fluttering distance the more intense the lower abs are worked 

Bicycle Curl


Primary Muscles:
Internal and External Obliques                                   

Bicycle Crunch Muscles

Secondary Muscles: 
Abdominus

Level of Difficulty: (6/10)   

Scale 6

Repetitions: 
     • 10-15 Reps - General toning

 Instructions  

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. 
  • Put your hands beside your head. 
  • Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle 
  • When ready start to go through a bicycle pedal like motion, extending one leg and flexing the other. 
  • Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. 
  • Breath normally  throughout the exercise 
Teaching Points  
  • Keep core muscles engaged. 
  • Do not pull up or twist using your arms, the strength comes from the abdominals 

 Adaptations 

  • Reduce the number of repetitions 
 Progressions  
  • Increase the number of repetitions 
  • Do not alternate sides 

The Plank 


Primary Muscles:
Abdominals, Lower Back

Plank Muscles

Secondary Muscles: 
Deltoids, Pectorals

 Difficulty Level: (5/10)   

scale 5

 Frequency: 
     • Hold for
 15-60 seconds

 Instructions  

  • Lying on your front raise your chest and bring your forearms to rest on the floor underneath with the elbows sat beneath the shoulders. 
  • Activate the pelvic floor and TVA and take a breath to prepare. 
  • As you exhale lift the hips off the floor by pressing the pubic bone against the floor. 
  • When ready gently lower to starting position  
 Teaching Points  
  • Use your core strength to hold the position 
  • Keep tension out of the lower back 
  • Use a normal breathing pattern 
  • Keep the hips still 
  • To make the exercises easier drop your knees onto the floor 
  • Ensure that a straight line exists from the heels through to the shoulds. 

 Adaptations 

  • Place your knees on the floor  
  • Reduce the amount of time the position is held for  
 Progressions  
  • Increase the position held to 60seconds 
  • Place one foot over the ankle of the other 

Ab Curl Ball 


Primary Muscles:

Obliques,Rectus,Abdominus  ,
Transverse Abdominus

ab curl muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Rotator Cuff, obliques,
Lumbar Multifidus

Level of Difficulty: (5/10) 

scale 5

Repetitions:
  • 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Sit yourself on the ball so that your feet are directly below your knees and your back is upight. 
  • The feet should be shoulder width apart 
  • Slowly walk your feet forward, as you do so lower your upper body until you body is parellel to the floor 
  • Ensure that your bottom is in contact with the ball. 
  • Place one hand on your head and one hand on eyour thigh 
  • Raise your body and at the same time slide the arm aclong the thight towards the outside of the opposite knee. 
  • Momentarily pause and then lower body when returning to the starting position 
Teaching Points 
  • Initiate movement from the torso not the shoulders 
  • Avoid rounding the shoulders 
  • Keep eyes looking up and forward 
  • Keep your legs at 90° angle and feet under knees 
  • Keep the ball as still as possible. 
  • Breath out as you raise the body and breath in as you lower 

 

Adaptations 
  • Position your bottom slightly off the ball 
  • Widen your stance 
Progressions 
  • Position your bottom further towards the middle of the ball 
  • Bring your feet closer together 
  • Place a light dumbbell on your stomach 

Corkscrew Ball 


Primary Muscles:

Abdominals, Hamstrings

plank muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Lower back, Adductor Muscles

Level of Difficulty: (10/10) 

scale 10

Repetitions:
  • 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Lie on your back with your arms resting by your side with the palms facing the floor 
  • Bend your legs with you feet placed either side of the ball 
  • Extend the legs so that they are extended toward the ceiling with the center of the ball touching your ankle bones. 
  • Keep pelvis neutral and arms extended by your sides on mat, palms down. 
  • Rotate ribcage to draw your legs toward right side of chest in a circular motion. 
  • Continue by bringing your pelvis off the mat and lifting ball over head so your arms and legs are extended in opposite directions. 
  • Curve the spine slightly to balance between shoulder blades. Move legs down to left side of chest and return to starting position. 
Teaching Points 
  • Start off with a slow range of movement and increase if competent. 
  • Keep the abdmincal contracted throughout 

Adaptations

  • Bend the legsduring the exercise 
  • Decrease the size of the circle 

Progressions

  • Increase the size of the circle 

 Double Leg Stretch L3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
P
rimary Movers:
Rectus Abdominals, Quadriceps, Gluteals,  

Stabiliser Muscles:
Hip Flexors, TVA, deltoids, rotator cuffs

Level of Difficulty:   (8/10) 

 scale 8

Frequency
     •
 Hold for 8-10 breaths then alternate leg
 
 

 Instructions 

  • Lie in the set-up position and activate the pelvic floor and TVA muscles. 
  • Bring  your shins up to the table top position with your shins parallel to the floor. 
  • Inhale to prepare and as you exhale raise your shoulders off the floor and bring your forehead toward your knees. 
  • At the same time simultaneously extend your legs at a 45° angle 
  • Take another breath to prepare and then as you exhale return your legs and upper body back to the starting position  
 Teaching Points  
  • Keep the shoulders relaxed 
  • Maintain neutral spine 
  • Try to get your arms level and beside your ears with your 
     

                                                                  

 

                                                                                                                          
P
rimary Movers:
 
Rectus Abdominals, Quadriceps, Gluteals, Deltoids 
 

Stabiliser Muscles:\
Hip Flexors, Core Muscles

 

Level of Difficulty:  (10/10) 

scale 10 

Frequency
     •
 Hold for 8-10 breaths
  
 

 Instructions 

  • Lie in the set-up position and activate the pelvic floor and TVA muscles. 
  • Raise your legs in the air so that they are both bent at 90°. 
  • When ready inhale to prepare and whilst exhaling extend your legs and raise your shoulders and upper back off the floor. 
  • Breath in and whilst you do move your arms up and down in a pump like action for 5 small beats 
  • Breath out and repeat the 5 small beats 
 Teaching Points  
  • Keep the TVA muscles engages and compress the abdominal muscles 
  • Move the arms up and down in small movements to promote circulation 

                                                                                                   
                     
Ab Curl Legs Straight                                                                                                                     
P
rimary Movers:

Hip Flexors, Rectus Abdominals
Stabiliser Muscles:
Rotator Cuff, Transverse Abs, obliques, Lumbar Multifidus
Level of Difficulty:  (7/10) 

scale 7

Frequency: 8-10 Repetitions
                                                                                                        

Instructions

  • Lie on the floor with the legs straight and the ball resting on the shins, hands by your side.

  • Take a breath to prepare, as you exhale slowly lift your head, shoulders and spine so that your hands some up towards the ball

  • Come up so that your hands grasp the fitball on either side. 
  • Inhale as you slowly return the journey holding the ball at the sides. 
  • As the ball comes past your hips begin to exhale as you bring the ball over your head  and behind the shoulders 
  • Return the shoulders, back onto the ball followed by the ball being placed behind the head. 
  • Repeat as necessary

Teaching Points

  • It’s important to use the core muscles to aid the movement keeping both the TVA and pelvic floor engaged. 
  • To increase the difficulty ensure your arms are inline with your ears as you lower down 
  • Equally to make the exercise easier place the ball out in front of you as you lower (i.,e. keep the ball above the chest) 

Oblique Curl on side 


Primary Muscles:
 
External Obliques

side muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Tranverse Abdominals

 

 Level of Difficulty: (6/10)   

scale 6

 Repetitions:   
  • 10-15 Reps - General toning    

 Instructions  

  • Lie on your side with the ball underneath your waist 
  • Keep your top leg outstretched and straight. Bottom leg should be bent with your knee resting on the floor 
  • Place your hands on the side of your head with your elbows pointing outwards 
  • Lifting from the torso and waist, raise your your upper body so that your top shoulder and elbow aim towards your extended leg. 
  • Momentarily pause and then return to the starting position. 

Teaching Points    

  • Avoid leaning forward or backward during the movement 
  • Exhale as you lift the body and inhale as you lower 

 Adaptations 

  • Place both your feet against a wall for support 

Progressions

  • Hold dumbells in each hand 

Ultimate Curl

                                                              
Primary Muscles:
 
Hip Flexors, Rectus Abs (upper and lower)

Ultimate Crunch Muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Rotator Cuff, Transverse Abdominals, obliques, Lumbar Multifidus

 Difficulty Level: (5/10)   

scale 5

 Repetitions: 
     • 
10-15 Reps - General toning
 
 
 

 Instructions  

  • From the set-up position place your hands on your head. 
  • Lift your head, shoulders and spine off the floor and raise your chest towards your kness 
  • At the same time bring both the legs off the floor toward your chest to perform the ultimate crunch 
  • Momentarily pause and then return your upper body and legs back to the starting position  
  • It’s important to use the core muscles to aid the movement. 
Teaching Points   
  • Keep a 'C' shape in the spine 

  • Initiate movement from the torso not the shoulders 

  • Avoid rounding the shoulders 

  • Keep your eyes looking forward and up

  • Squeeze the abdominal muscles as your legs and upper body come together 

     

 Adaptations  
  •  Revert to standard abdominal curl 
  Progressions     
  • Don't  let your feet touch the floor in between each repetition