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Abdominal muscles workout – 9 exercises

Publish date 19.09.2022

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Abdominal muscles workout – 9 exercises

Do you want to have strong and well-sculpted abdominal muscles? Maybe you look at other runners – sprinters or long-distance runners – and think “Ah, how good it would be to have such an abdomen.”

Surprise! You also can have such an abdomen. Of course, nothing will do itself. To have well-sculpted and strong abdominal muscles you have to work at it. Running alone is not enough. You also need to think about the right exercises.

Strong abdominal muscles will improve your running performance and bring you great satisfaction with each workout. What’s more, it can even boost your self-esteem. Therefore, if you want to learn how to strengthen abdominal muscles and what abdominal muscle exercises you should do, read this article. Are you ready? Let’s go! 🙂 

Abdominal muscles – anatomy

Before moving on to exercises for the abdominal muscles, it is worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the anatomical structure. This will help you know which muscles you are exercising, as well as what they are responsible for.

Front and lateral abdominal muscles

  • External oblique – Responsible for bending, twisting, tilting, and rotating the trunk
  • Internal oblique – It is responsible for twisting and tilting the trunk.
  • Rectus abdominis – flexes the trunk and supports pelvic movement and breathing
  • Transversus abdominis  – causes an increase in abdominal pressure and aids breathing
  • Pyramidalis – Its role is to tighten the linea alba.

Posterior abdominal muscles

  • Quadratus lumborum – It is responsible for the movement of the ribs and bending of the trunk.

Abdominal muscles – their role

Now that you know the anatomical structure of the abdominal muscles, and what they are responsible for, I will introduce you to the role of the abdominal muscles (overall). 

The abdominal muscles: 

  • will increase your endurance,
  • stabilize the movement of your hips, arms, and legs,
  • maintain correct posture while running – thus improving your running technique,
  • protect the spine from excessive strain,
  • thanks to them you will maintain and gain speed while running,
  • prevent injuries and micro-injuries to other muscles, 
  • you will not be stiff – greater range of motion,
  • protect the spine.

How often should you do exercises for abdominal muscles?

To train solid abdominal muscles you should do exercises 2-3 days a week. The workout should last about 30 minutes. Each exercise is best repeated about 15-20 times. There is no point in exercising the abdomen every day, because the muscles will not have time to recover. Each workout should be so intense that you feel soreness on the second day – proceed to the next exercise session when it subsides.

After what time do you see the first effects of the exercises?

You can see the first results of exercises for abdominal muscles after 2 weeks. You will see a better result after a month. However, you must remember that this time will not be the same for everyone. It all depends on the exercises, the intensity, and the overall condition and health of the person who does the workout. The less fat you have on your abdomen, the faster you will notice the results.

Abdominal muscles exercises

1. Run with two hands on the ground 

This exercise is engaging: 

  • abdominal, 
  • legs,
  • upper back, 
  • shoulders, 
  • shoulder girdle. 

How to do this exercise?

  • Rest your hands and feet on the ground. Keep your knees straight and your bottom raised slightly. 
  • Draw your left and right knee to your chest alternately – slowly at first, then you can speed up. 

If you move your legs more on the side of your torso or draw your right knee to the left side of your chest (and vice versa), you will engage the oblique abdominal muscles.

2. Leg raise while hanging on a bar

This exercise is engaging: 

  • abdominal muscles,
  • back muscles, 
  • shoulder muscles,
  • loin muscle.

How to do this exercise?

  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip and do an overhang. 
  • Bend your legs at the knees. 
  • Then draw them to your chest (hold for a moment).
  • Lower your legs slowly, controlling this movement, and try not to make your body sway.

If the exercise becomes easier and easier for you, you can lift your legs higher and higher. This will engage more muscles during this exercise. 

3. Farmer’s walk

This exercise is engaging: 

  • abdominal,
  • buttocks, 
  • shoulders,
  • back. 

How to do this exercise?

To perform this exercise, you need small dumbbells as a load. However, you must remember to choose one where their load will be felt. 

  • Take the handle in your hand.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back and down – your figure should be upright. 
  • You need to tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles. 
  • Take small steps forward. 
  • During the movement, your muscles should be tight.

4. Scissors

This exercise is engaging: 

  • abdominal, 
  • rectus femoris,
  • back.

How to do this exercise?

  • Lay on your back. 
  • Lift your straightened legs gently upward.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Cross your legs over the floor alternately (left over right, right over left). 

5. Boxing

This exercise is engaging: 

  • abdominal, 
  • buttocks, 
  • legs,
  • shoulders. 

How to do this exercise?

  • Stand slightly apart and bend your legs slightly. Your abdominal muscles should be tight. You need to stand upright. 
  • Bend your arms at the elbows and raise them to the height of your face. 
  • Start hitting the space in front of you or the punching bag, if you have one. 

How do you perform a correct boxing move? 

  • Start the movement from the chest until the elbow is straight. 
  • By bringing the movement of the arms to the opposite sides, you will engage the oblique abdominal muscles more to work.

6. Leg raises to the chest on TRX

Let’s start with what a TRX is. TRX is a special training belt that allows us to train with your body weight. With such sports equipment, you can train more intensively. 

How to do this exercise?

  • Position yourself with your back to the TRX attachment point and do knee and arm supports. 
  • Hook your feet into special grips.
  •  Support yourself on your straight arms so that your hands are under your shoulders. 
  • Straighten your legs at the knees. 
  • Draw your joined knees to your chest,
  • Draw your knees to your chest, but alternate. If you want to engage the muscles more strongly then move more to the side.
  • Draw your straightened legs to your chest.

How to stretch abdominal muscles?

This is not the end. Exercises are important, that’s a fact. However, after them, you must also set aside time to properly stretch your muscles. This will help you prevent unwanted injuries. Surely you are wondering how to stretch abdominal muscles, here are some exercises. 

Oblique muscles

  • Stand upright with a slight stretch. 
  • Perform a side-to-side bend – the hand on the bent side is to go down to knee height, with the other moved over the hip. 
  • Hold the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Rectus abdominis

  • Lie on your back – your legs must be straight, while your arms extend behind your head
  • With one hand, grasp the back of the other hand. The backs of your palms should be facing your head.
  •  Keeping your palms as close to the floor as possible, extend them as far as you can, as if you want to stretch. 
  • Your lumbar region should pull slightly away from the floor. 
  • Stay in this position for about 30 seconds. 

Abdominal and lumbar muscles

  • Lie down on your stomach. 
  • Support yourself with your arms so that your palms are positioned against your chest, and spread your legs hip-width apart. 
  • Lift on your arms, straightening your shoulders so that your chest goes up and your legs stay on the floor. 
  • When your hips begin to pull away from the ground, stay in this position for about 30 seconds. 

Strong and sculpted abdominal muscles – not just exercise 

If you want a strong and sculpted abdomen then exercise for abdominal muscles and physical activity alone is not enough. 

It is also important what you eat. Many people are surprised that they do not see the desired results but do not change their eating habits. Bet on balanced meals, drink plenty of water and limit fast food and sweets. Then surely with the right amount of exercise and training, you will get the flat and sculpted belly you desire.  

As you can see the abdominal muscle exercises are not very hard and you can do them even in your home. Thanks to them you can work on your abdominal if you want it to be strong and sculpted. 

To summarize, now you know the exercises and also how to strengthen abdominal muscles and stretch them. Do it wisely and wait for the effects. Be persistent in your resolve and achieve your goal.  

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