With this exercise, you are killing two birds with one stone. The total crunch combines the basic ab-crunch and the reverse ab-crunch. You lie down flat on your back, with knees forming a triangle with the floor. Hands can be on the chest or beside your head (just don’t use your hands to pull the body up). Raise your upper body as well as the lower body, ensuring that the abdominal region is under stress and not your neck muscles or those on your legs. Hold it in the crunched position for a few seconds and then go back to original position. Works your upper and lower abs at one go.
Frequency: 3 sets of 20 reps; 20-30secs rest between each set
For this exercise, you need to hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended above you. Ensure your pelvis is slightly backwards and the legs are pointing straight down. From this position, slowly pull the legs up, bending them at the knees, such that it forms a 90° angle between the thighs and the lower torso. Exhale as you are pulling them up. Hold the knees in the rolled up position for a moment and then inhale as you get back to the starting position. This is a one of the most challenging workout for lower abs.
Frequency: 2 sets of 15 reps; 30 sec rest between sets
The Climb Up
For this exercise, you will need a regular towel. Lie flat on your back with the face upwards and knees bent with the foot on the floor. Wrap the towel around the lower side of the right foot and keeping the left foot on the floor, stretch the right foot up while holding onto the towel. Ensure your right foot is extended. Now slowly raise your upper body as you pull yourself up by holding onto the towel, as you try to reach your right foot. Keep still in the maxed out crunch position for a couple of seconds. Slowly go back to lying flat on the floor. Do not use your neck muscles or tuck your chin in.
Frequency: 2 sets of 10 reps
This is a Pilates exercise that works on both the upper and lower ab muscles. Lie flat on the floor facing upwards. Lift your head, shoulders and tuck in your chin. Slowly draw your left knee towards the chest, inhaling as you do so, while keeping the left hand on the ankle and right hand on the knee. Lift your right leg off the floor at an angle of 45° and hold steady. Exhale as you switch the legs now – right leg towards the knee and left leg stretched. Ensure that the torso remains still while only the legs and ab muscles do the work. Also avoid moving your legs as though you are cycling, the legs need to be straight as you draw them towards your chest and back.
Frequency: 8-12 sides for each leg
Written By : Nimish Uday