Stomach Flattening Exercises

The stomach flattening exercises below are all easy to do, very effective, and can be done at home with no equipment. Two of them involve almost no movement at all and primarily engage the key "stomach flattening " muscle, the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is the "suck in your gut" muscle that pulls the ab wall inward. It is located deep in your abdomen, underneath your obliques. It holds your organs in place and forces expiration when contracted.


Do the stomach flattening exercises 3 times per week. You can do them on their own or incorporate them into your overall training routine. Before long you'll notice your stomach becoming flatter and your abs more toned.


Ab Bracing

ABDOMINAL BRACING

Suggested Rep Range: 5-10

Preparation: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Head and neck should be relaxed, with your hands down at your side. Bracing can also be done sitting or standing.

Movement: Compared with the other stomach flattening exercises, there is very little movement with bracing. Abdominal bracing is the act of “stiffening” or “tightening” of the deep abdominal muscles, primarily the transverse abdominis. You should contract the abs as if you were about to be punched in the stomach. Hold for 5 seconds, repeat. Bracing will help you hold your stomach in, giving you a trimmer appearance, along with helping protect your back.

Bill's Tips on Technique:

- You should pull your navel in slightly, but do not hollow out your abs.

- Be sure to continue to breathe while bracing. Don't hold your breath!!

- You could also do this sitting or standing, and almost anywhere-- while watching TV, sitting at red light while driving, etc.


Bicycle crunch Bicycles


BICYCLE CRUNCHES

Suggested Rep Range: 20-50

Preparation: Lie flat on your back, lower back pressed into the floor, thighs perpendicular to your torso, lower legs parallel to the floor, fingertips placed lightly behind your ears.

Movement: Extend your right leg out at an approximately 40 degree angle from the floor, while simultaneously bringing your left knee in. Use your abs to twist your right shoulder and elbow up and across your body toward your left knee. Touch your knee with your elbow if you can. Reach only as far as you can without straining. Lower yourself back to the floor, then reverse the movement for the other side. Use a continuous fluid motion.

Bill's Tips on Technique:

- Exhale on the lift of each movement.

- Don't pull on your head. Keep a tennis ball size distance between your chin and your chest.

- Keep constant tension on your abs throughout the movement. Don't rest at the bottom of the movement.

- Use a smooth controlled movement. Go slow. Don't rush.

- Your shoulder blade should come off the floor, not just your elbows.

- Keep your lower back pressed into the floor.

- This exercise is the best overall of all the stomach flattening exercises.


plank, stomach flattening

PLANK

Preparation: Lie face down with your weight on your forearms and toes. Elbows should be bent at 90 degrees and directly under your shoulders. Rest on your forearms, knees, and toes before starting

Movement: Lift up off your knees so that you are supported on your forearms and toes. Your back should be level. Keep your head in line with your body and spine in a neutral alignment, pull your navel in, bracing your abs tight. Hold the planked position for 20 to 30 seconds to start.

Bill's Tips on Technique:

- Keep breathing throughout the held contraction. Don't hold your breath.

- Don't let your body sag in the middle. Lock in a solid position.

- Gradually increase the hold time, up to 60 to 120 seconds.

- Focus on bracing your abs as you hold the position.

- This exercise, along with the Ab Wheel, are among the stomach flattening exercises that involve more than your abs. Your core muscles, along with your shoulder muscles are heavily used in the Plank.

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