Abdominal Exercises for Beginners - Can YOU Walk The Plank?
an you REALLY build your abs without crunches?
Abdominal exercises for beginners promise to tone your tummy while protecting your back.
How to Build Your Abs Without Crunches
"And that's it?!" My neighbor stared at me like I had just lost my mind. Holding my position, I gave a grunt. "But... it looks so easy--"
"You think so?!" My voice was a gasp from the garage floor; I estimated I had 20 more seconds before my legs would start to buckle. My neighbor shrugged as he began to circle me. "Try it," I groaned, and gratefully lowered my knees to the cold of the concrete. Climbing to my feet, I felt the familiar burn of a vigorously worked mid-section.
My neighbor was grinning as he nonchalantly lowered himself onto his elbows and kicked out his toes. "And you're sure this is going to work my abs?" My neighbor sounded unconvinced. "How long did you manage, again?" Confident eyes glanced to the hands of a wall clock.
"Just count," I replied as my neighbor locked his knees and flattened his back. Together we followed the fingers.
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Vandel
Crunchless Abs... the power of "the plank"
If you want to work your abs, you've got to do crunches, right? Moreover, you've got to do hundreds of them if you want to build your abdominal muscles!
For those who have visited this site before, you will know that ain't necessarily so. Indeed, the crunch - as most trainees practice it - can be positively HARMFUL due to the stresses this exercise places onto the lower back, making the crunch (or sit-up) one of the WORST abdominal exercises for beginners.
However, there is good news!
There are abdominal exercises for beginners that work the mid-section SAFELY, in addition to giving the abs a vigorous workout. Indeed, the abdominal exercise I'm about to describe for you, is the SAME exercise I showed my neighbor (by the way, he struggled to last one minute).
Abdominal Exercises for Beginners - The Elbow Bridge Plank
The elbow bridge plank is one of the best abdominal exercises for beginners as it targets the core muscles - the stomach, hips, back, etc. Why is this so important?
Since these 'stabilizer muscles' are the foundation of muscle building, it is VITAL they receive your due attention.
Let's check it out:
1. Perfect Position.
Lie down on your stomach. From here, tuck your elbows and forearms beside your chest.
Maintaining a straight back, lock your knees and push up from your toes. Holding this prop position, your body will form a bridge or plank. Remaining ramrod straight, you will FEEL your abdominal muscles contract as they work to keep you in perfect position.
Begin to count.
2. Tense Your Tummy.
Using perfect form, tense your tummy. Maintaining a flat back, follow the seconds on your wristwatch until you FEEL your abdominal muscles begin to tire. (Your goal is to strengthen your stomach by demanding your abs do the job they were designed for.)
As the seconds tick by, your legs will start to tremble, but HOLD your position as long as you are able - DO NOT allow your hips to sag!
3. Work Your Waist.
By now you will feel your abdominal muscles begin to quiver - a clear sign your abs are working!
As soon as your form starts to deteriorate, and you can't last one single further second, slowly lower yourself to your knees.
So how did you do? ;-)
Can you REALLY build your abs without crunches?
Abdominal exercises for beginners will tone your tummy while protecting your back.
Abdominal Exercises for Beginners to Easy Abdominal Exercises
Abdominal Exercises for Beginners to Muscle Building