- Sit ups: Sit ups are the most common and most utilised form of exercise to tone abdominal muscles.
To perform sit ups correctly, lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Hold your hands behind your earlobes and then proceed to tighten your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button back towards your spine. Now slowly lift your head and shoulders off the ground by contracting your abdominal muscles. Only lift as high as you are comfortable with, all the while keeping your feet flat on the floor.
Hold the position for a second, then slowly return to the lying position- do not lay back on the floor, rather, keep your shoulders raised slightly. Repeat this as many times as necessary.
If you find you are having difficulty keeping your feet on the ground, try securing them under a piece of furniture, such as a couch or bed.
Once the sit ups become easier, begin adding weights and continuing to lift heavier and heavier weights.
- Crunches: To perform a crunch, lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet placed flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and tighten your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button back towards your spine. Now, raise your shoulders off the floor whilst keeping your back straight. Remember to exhale through your mouth whilst performing a crunch.
Once you have raised your shoulders a sufficient distance, pause for a second and finish exhaling. Slowly lower your shoulders back towards the ground without letting your head touch the ground. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.
- Leg Lifts: To perform a leg lift, lie on the floor with your legs flat and hands at your sides. Lift your legs straight up to point at the ceiling, then lower them without letting them touch the floor. Continue lifing and lowering your legs. Alternatively you may hold yourself up on a bar and perform a leg lift by raising your knees to your chest.
- Jackknife sit ups: To perform a jack knife sit up, lie down flat on the floor with you hands on the ground at your sides. Now, raise your knees and your torso in order to allow your face and knees meet (or come close to meeting). Hold this position for a second then lay back flat. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.
Once this process has become easy enough, try placing weights between your feet.
- V-ups: To perform a V-up, lie flat on the floor with your hands extended over your head touching the ground. Raise your legs and torso simultaneously, keeping your legs straight. Reach yoru hands towards your feet and touch them if possible. Hold this position for a second then return to the flat position. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.