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Changing Shape

Exercises For Abs



Please note that individuals can not work upper or lower abs independently from each other. The rectus abdominis is one muscle and functions in unison regardless of the area emphasized. Isolation of a particular region is just not possible.


Bodyweight Exercises


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The Ab Crunch

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Bodyweight Only


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Intermediate Ab Crunch

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Bodyweight Only


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Advanced Ab Crunch

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Bodyweight Only


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Full Sit up

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Bodyweight Only


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Lower Abdominal Floor Reverse Curl

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Bodyweight Only



Abdominal Exercises with Ball



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Ab Stability Ball Crunch

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Exercise Ball


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Stability Ball Curl Up

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Exercise Ball



Abdominal Machine Exercises For Upper Abs



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Life Fitness Pro2 Ab Crunch

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Life Fitness Pro2 Ab


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Life Fitness Optima Abs

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Life Fitness Optima Abs


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Life Fitness Signature Series Abdominal

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Life Fitness Signature Series Abdominal


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Life Fitness Circuit Series Abdominal

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: Life Fitness Circuit Series Abdominal


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CYBEX VR3 Abdominal

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: CYBEX VR3 Abdominal


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Eagle Abdominal

Benefits: Abs, Core

Machine Requirements: CYBEX Eagle Abdominal


Oblique Exercises


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Life Fitness Signature Series Torso Rotation Instructions - ab twist

Benefits: Obliques, Core

Machine Requirements: Life Fitness Signature Series Torso Rotation


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CYBEX FT360 Rotation Extension

Benefits: Obliques, Core

Machine Requirements: Cables



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Cable Woodchops (High to Low)

Benefits: Obliques, Core

Machine Requirements: Cables


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Cable Woodchops (Low to High)

Benefits: Obliques, Core

Machine Requirements: Cables


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Cable Woodchops (Neutral)

Benefits: Obliques, Core

Machine Requirements: Cables




Upper Abdominal Exercises (Stomach)



Abs Crunch (mouseover photo)

1. Lay on the ground with legs bent and feet flat. Do not pull from arms, keep emphasis on the abdominal muscles. Remember, this is an abdominal crunch not a sit up.

2. Keep neck straight, centered above shoulders during entire movement pattern.

3. From sternum, crunch up and forward while shoulders lift off ground.

4. Low back should remain flat on the ground at all times.

5. Reverse down, stopping just before shoulders make contact with ground and reverse.

Muscles Benefited: Abs (rectus abdominis).




Abdominal Crunch Machine (mouseover photo)

1. Lay down or sit on abdominal machine. Align lower ribs with the machine's axis of rotation.

2. Low back should remain flush on pad of machine during entire movement.

3. Relax neck on pad and grip handles. Curl forward.

4. Focus on pulling weight from abs, not arms. Stop at top range and reverse motion back.






Lower Abdominal Exercises



Reverse Ab Crunch (mouseover photo)

1. Lay on the ground with your legs straight and your hands underneath your bottom.

2. Keep your abdominal muscles tight with your head and lower back flush on the ground.

3. Pull your legs (still straight) up and back to a 90° angle from the ground. Make sure not to lock out your knees and keep your focus on your abdominal muscles.

4. Lower your legs, stop just before your feet touch the ground and reverse. If however, you feel your low back starting to lift, stop right before that when completing this exercise and reverse.





Reverse Machine Ab Crunch (mouseover photo)

1. Lay down on a lower abdominal machine.

2. Keep abdominal muscles tight. Head and lower back flush on the machine.

3. Pull legs back to a 90° angle from the machine.

5. Under control, lower your legs, stop when your feet are at a 45° from the ground and reverse the motion back up.

Muscles Benefited: Rectus Abdominis.




The ABCs of AB Exercises: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly



Abs of StoneIt is generally accepted in the world of health and fitness that abdominal exercises are useful for building the abdominal muscles thus helping to improve performance in sports and for those who may be suffering from back pain.


Functions of the Abs


The abdominal muscles have different important functions in providing movement and support for the trunk of the body. They also assist in the breathing process; provide protection for the inner organs, and postural support (along with the back muscles). The transverse abdominus is the deepest muscle and greatly affects body posture. The rectus abdominus is the most superficial abdominal muscle and is the one that is developed to create the "6-pack" - or Holy Grail - most gym-goers come in search of!


Bad Abdominal Exercises


But caution must be 'exercised,' says Dr. Garry Tew writing in The Sport and Exercise Scientist (the official publication of the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences), when considering abdominal workouts because some might be inappropriate in relation to the age, experience and health status of the individual. Therefore some ab workouts for women might be unsuitable ab workouts for men and vice-versa. There are also, says Dr. Tew, some exercises that are "simply bad" for you.


Two of these are variants of the old favorite "sit-up." While the sit-up is generally a good abdominal exercise it is potentially harmful to do sit-ups with the feet anchored or keeping the legs straight along the floor. These exercises, says Dr. Tew, produce high lumbar intervertebral pressure and compression which can lead to or exacerbate lower-back pain, or even result in lumbar spine injury, especially in individuals with lower-back pathologies.


Dr. Tew, who is a researcher at Hallam University in Sheffield, England, suggests that during ab exercises it is safer to keep the knees and hips flexed during upper body movements. Although he recommends the "partial curl-up" as the best form of the sit-up exercise, Dr. Tew does go on to warn that even this may not be a good one for those who suffer from lumbar disk pathologies or osteoporosis.


In other words, it is clear from Dr. Tew's in-depth knowledge that not all workouts for abs are appropriate for everyone and that care has to be taken before embarking on any such exercise regimen.


That's why consulting the experts at www.changingshape.com will save you the time and effort (and potential harm and pain) when choosing the fitness plan that best suits you because the team here are dedicated to providing the best customized schedules for their clients, taking all their individual circumstances into consideration.


So, if you don't want to be lumbered with a bad lumbar, then seek the advice from the people who really know.


References:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdominal_exercise
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_abdomen#Muscles_of_the_abdominal_wall




Matthew Johnson (Google+) is a certified personal trainer, nutrition expert and an on-line fitness consultant that started ChangingShape.com back in 2001.






























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