Keep the routines varied to keep your body right IN ORDER to get the best possible results from your work-out, you need to vary your routine to keep your body challenged.
So while you may be well able to do 100 stomach curls and hardly even feel it, if you change your routine and work your abdominals in a completely different way, you will really feel and see the difference.
The following curl-free abdominal exercises are based on a range of different techniques from Pilates to boxing. The aim is to achieve a toned tummy and to reach new heights in your fitness routine.
Remember, with all abdominal exercises you need to breathe out on the exertion and breathe in as you release.
THE PLANK This exercise is seriously tough on the abdominals and deep postural muscles, if performed correctly. Go down on all fours. From there drop down to your elbows and extend both legs out behind with the feet together.
Now lift your body off the floor balanced on the toes and elbows only. Hold the body as stiff as a plank, lifting through the abdominals and thighs for 30-60 seconds. Relax.
STAR STRETCH From the above position, push yourself up into the push-up position, with both arms straight, and body in a straight line. Now transfer most of the weight into the feet. Then lift the right foot off the ground and pull the right knee in towards the right arm, keeping your abdominals really tight.
Hold for five seconds and then extend the leg full outwards before returning the toes to the ground.
Remember to keep the back really straight throughout the exercise and concentrate on using the tummy muscles mainly.
Repeat for three sets of 1020 on the right leg before switching sides.
SCOOP SIDE REACH Lie on your left-hand side resting on your left elbow, with both legs extended in line with the back and the right foot crossed over the left. From there lift your body right up on its side, extending the left arm for support. This is a sideways plank. Now extend the right arm overhead, really lifting through the waist at the same time. Hold for five seconds. Then scoop the right arm under the body, keeping the tummy really tight. Hold for five seconds and extend overhead again.
Repeat for three sets of 1020 repetitions and change sides.
ROLLING BALL Sit on the floor. Balancing on your tailbone, lift both feet off the ground, holding on to the ankles and bringing the heels in towards the buttocks.
Keeping your tummy muscles tight and chin tucked under, roll back slowly until your upper back touches the floor.
Hold for five seconds and slowly roll forward, keeping the heels tucked under and letting the abdominals do all the work. Afterwards lie down on your back, stretch both arms overhead, interlock the fingers, flex the heels and stretch your body.