For a beginner, it’s helpful to split the various body parts up and look at each one individually. For the purposes of the following articles we will break them down into the areas listed below:
This article then focuses on the abdominals, the stomach muscles. This is another muscle group that can often be overlooked in the weight trainers quest for big arms and a powerful chest. Like the back however, exercising the core stomach area will provide support for the improvement of other muscles. So warm up and let’s run through three basic abdominal exercises.
- The Bicycle Crunch – thought to be one of the best all round abdominal
exercises, it can take a small amount of practice but you’ll soon get used to it. Lie on your back and place your hands touching the side of your head – don’t support your head with your hands. Now bring your left knee up and lift your head and shoulders so that your right elbow touches (or as close as you can get to) your knee. Now swap elbows/knees and repeat. Start with a set of twenty (ten per side) and increase the number as you improve.
- Incline Sit Up - You’ll need a specific sit up bench for this as shown. Get the
hang of climbing on board by hooking first one foot and then the other into place. Lie back to begin with your hands next to your head then lift your body up towards your knees, keeping your back straight. When lowering yourself, stop when you feel your abdominals are working at their highest intensity – you do not need to start from lying down again. Again, start with a set of twenty and increase the number as you improve.
- The Plank – some may tell you to to recoil in horror at the thought of attempting the Plank, but it’s not that terrible and you can start slowly. Assume the position by resting on your forearms and your toes and keeping your body straight and rigid. Now do this for as long as possible. Try for one minute first then build up as your core strength improves.