Ab exercises can comprise a portion of your daily workout. In five minutes, you can feel the burn and work to increase abs strength with simple exercises that can be done at home or in the gym and do not require specialized equipment. Each exercise should be performed for one minute. Use proper form and breathing techniques to avoid injury.
Sit on floor with knees slightly bent. Lift your arms above your head and begin moving both legs in a pedaling motion. Reverse the direction of your pedal after 30 seconds. You should begin to feel this working the lower obliques. Return to a sitting position after one minute.
This exercise targets the lower and upper obliques. Do not count the number of exercises but rather do the best you can for one minute. Lie flat on the floor with your hands to each side. Raise your legs straight to the ceiling and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Keep your toes pointed towards the ceiling. Slowly lower your legs to the floor and repeat. The trick here is to use your abdominal muscles and not push off the floor with your hands. Rest for 15 seconds and move on to the next exercise.
One-Minute Oblique Side Bends
Lying on your side, position your body with a slight bend at your waist. With hands behind your head, slowly lift your legs and torso towards the ceiling. This may seem awkward at first but as you build strength, it becomes easier. If you are unable to lift both legs and torso at the same time, begin by just lifting your legs. Perform this exercise for 1 minute.
This exercise targets all your abdominal muscles. The "Journal of Strength and Conditioning" found that the V-up exercise results in the greatest amount of oblique activity. Lying on the floor with hands above your head, slowly lift yourself up as if you were doing a sit-up and touch your toes. Slowly bring your body back to the floor while simultaneously lifting your legs about 30 degrees off the floor. With hands still behind your head, slowly lift your body again and touch your toes without bringing your legs to the ground. Hold for a moment and return to the starting position. To get the most out of this exercise it is important to do it slowly. Repeat for one minute.
Your heart rate should be elevated and muscles fatigued at this point. For the final exercise, sit on the floor. With knees bent, raise your legs about six inches off the floor. Move your upper body in a twisting motion side to side, touching both hands on the floor. Do this as fast as you can for one minute. To add a level of difficulty, try holding weights.
- "Journal of Strength and Conditioning";Relative Activity of Abdominal Muscles During Commonly Prescribed Strengthening Exercises; Willett, Gilbert M; November 2001