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How to do the Top Abdominal Exercises Correctly

Bicycle Maneuver: Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head. Bring knees up to about 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Keep even relaxed breathing throughout.

Captain’s Chair: Stabilize your upper body by gripping the handholds and lightly pressing your lower back against the back pad. The starting position begins with you holding your body up and legs dangling below. Now slowly lift your knees in toward your chest. The motion should be controlled and deliberate as you bring the knees up and return them back to the starting position.

Crunch on Exercise Ball: Sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor. Let the ball roll back slowly. Now lie back on the ball until your thighs and torso are parallel with the floor. Place hands behind your head (or cross your arms over your chest) and slightly tuck your chin in toward your chest. Contract your abdominals raising your torso to no more than 45 degrees. For better balance, spread your feet wider apart. To challenge the obliques, make the exercise less stable by moving your feet closer together. Exhale as you contract; inhale as you return to the starting position.

Vertical Leg Crunch: Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands behind your head for support. Extend your legs straight up in the air, crossed at the ankles with a slight bend in the knee. Contract your abdominal muscles by lifting your torso toward your knees. Make sure to keep your chin off your chest with each contraction. Exhale as you contract upward; inhale as you return to the starting position.

Reverse Crunch: Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head or extend them out flat to your sides—whatever feels most comfortable. Crossing your feet at the ankles, lift your feet off the ground to the point where your knees create a 90-degree angle. Once in this position, press your lower back on the floor as you contract your abdominal muscles. Your hips will slightly rotate and your legs will reach towards the ceiling with each contraction. Exhale as you contract; inhale as you return to the starting position.

Descriptions for the rest of the exercises

Hover: Lie face down on mat with elbows right next to chest, palms facing down. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and elbows with palms flat, back flat angling up from toes to shoulders. Hold abdominals tight, and keep your spine neutral. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then lower; repeat.

Torso Track: Kneel on the ground facing the Torso Track. Grip the handles in each hand. Contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine. Exhale as you slowly glide forward to a stretched out position. Slowly contract your abdominal muscles and pull your body back toward your knees as you inhale. Do not arch your back or let your back sway. The more tension chords you use the easier the exercise. As you progress, use fewer chords. It is extremely important to maintain proper form to prevent back strain.

Long Arm Crunch: (emphasizes upper abdominals) Lie face up (supine) on a mat with your arms extended above your head and hands clasped together. Your upper arms should rest next to your ears. Contract abdominals by pressing stomach toward the floor. Press heels into the floor. Keeping your arms alongside your ears slowly begin a basic crunch. Exhale as you lift and pause at the top and contract your abs even more. Inhale as you lower to starting position. This is an advanced form of the basic crunch. Be sure to keep an apples distance between your chin and chest to avoid strain on the neck. If you cannot do this crunch with proper form, begin with the traditional crunch and progress to the long arm crunch when you are ready.

Traditional Crunch: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you. Lie on an exercise mat rather than hard floor to prevent back strain. Position your feet hip distance apart. Place your hands behind your head so that your thumbs are tucked behind your ears. Hold elbows slightly out to the sides and keep chin pointing upward. Curl up and forward lifting your head neck and shoulder blades off the floor. Make sure you’re not pulling your head forward with your hands. Keep a fists distance between your chin and chest to be sure to target your abs and not strain your neck. Pause at the top of the movement and tighten your abdominals. Slowly lower your head, neck & shoulder blades as you inhale and return to starting position. Remember to keep knees bent and back straight throughout entire exercise.

Crunch with Heel Push: Lie on your back with your legs lifted toward the ceiling. Contract abdominal muscles allowing head and shoulders to come slightly off the ground. Concentrate on contracting the abdominals press heels toward the ceiling while also lifting shoulders chin toward ceiling, creating a U curve with the torso. Exhale as you lift.

Exercise Tubing Pull: Find a sturdy area to secure your exercise tubing. Attach the band to a stable area that will allow enough room for you to move forward and create tension through the elasticity. Kneel and grasp the handles in each hand with your hands next to your ears. The tubing should be attached behind your head as you kneel facing away from the attachment area. Slowly contract your stomach muscles as you pull the tubing toward your knees creating enough tension to put resistance on your abdominal region. Bring your elbows toward your knees and then slowly release to the starting position.

Ab Rocker: Just sit on the Ab Rocker grab the adjustable toning bars in each hand and rock back and forth as you tone your abdominals.

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Dr. Max Gouverne

Dr. Max Gouverne is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Corpus Christi with more than 20 years of practical experience. Paired with his approachable personality, his advanced knowledge and employment of leading-edge techniques ensure your utmost safety, comfort, and satisfaction.

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Dr. Max Gouverne, MD
Cosmetic Surgery

5642 Esplanade Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78414

Phone (361) 993-2222 Monday–Thursday:
8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.