If you want to tone up your mid-section, an easy morning ab workout can get your metabolism revved up and strengthen your stomach muscles. Working out in the morning is also beneficial because you may be more likely to stick with your program by avoiding the distractions often surrounding evening workouts. If you are a beginner, there are some easy ab exercises you can do to put yourself on track for a toned torso.
You can do different exercises to strengthen and tone different parts of your abs. The abs include four muscles: the rectus abdominis, the most prominent muscle, which runs from your rib cage to pubic bone; internal and external obliques, which run from your ribs to your hips along the front of your torso; and transversus abdominis, the deepest ab muscle, which runs horizontally across your torso. Basic crunches work the rectus abdominis and the transversus abdominis. Oblique crunches work the internal and external obliques. Leg lifts work the lower part of the rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis.
The crunch is a basic ab exercise that is popular because it is simple and can be modified to work additional muscles. To perform a crunch, lie on your back on a mat or comfortable, flat surface. Place your arms behind your head but do not use them to pull yourself up when you crunch. Bend your knees and raise your feet off the floor. Using your ab muscles, pull your body up toward the ceiling, keeping your neck relaxed and your eyes focused on the ceiling. Release and slowly return back to the floor. Repeat 14 times. Do two sets of crunches for a total of 30.
Oblique crunches are a variation of regular crunches and are easy to do. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet off the floor. Keep your hands behind your head but do not use them to pull your neck or head. Use your abs to pull your torso up off the floor while twisting to one side, allowing your elbow to reach toward your opposite knee. Repeat the exercise twisting to the other side. Continue to alternate twists until you complete 15 diagonal crunches on each side. Do two sets.
Leg lifts strengthen the lower ab muscles, which often become weak from under-use. Lie on your back on a flat surface with your arms by your sides. Slowly lift both legs about 2 inches from the floor. Hold your legs out straight in this position for 15 to 20 seconds. Relax and lower your legs. Repeat 14 times for a total of 15 leg lift exercises. Focus on holding your legs steady and continuing to breathe as you do the leg lifts.
Doing early morning ab exercises is a healthy way to start your day and can complement your fitness or weight loss routine. Ab exercises for beginners are easy to do and require no equipment or big time commitment. If you have a sagging stomach or are unhappy with your mid-section, ab exercises can help tone all of the muscles in your abdomen, giving you a leaner, stronger physique and improving your posture.