There are various ways to get a slim and athletic stomach. One of them is by exercising the abdominal muscles. However, the results are not instant. To get a slim stomach, you need to do regular abdominal exercises with the correct exercise movements.
Abdominal muscle training is a type of exercise to shape and increase the strength of the abdominal muscles, and reduce the size of the stomach. Not only that, this exercise can also improve the function of the spine and lower back, train breathing, and maintain flexibility and balance of the body.
Variety of Abdominal Muscle Exercises You Can Do
There are many exercises that can be done to help the formation of abdominal muscles and shrink belly fat. This exercise you can do alone at home or in a fitness center (gym). If done consistently, this exercise can realize your dream of having a slim stomach.
The following are some abdominal exercises that you can try:
Crunch movements are almost like sit-ups. However, this movement only lifts the upper body only, namely the head and shoulders. In addition to abdominal muscles, crunch can also train and strengthen shoulder, arm, buttocks, and leg muscles.
Crunch movements are carried out in the following ways:
- Position your body lying on your back while bending your knees and place your feet touching the floor.
- Place the arms on the chest cross-legged, then lift the body until the stomach feels tight. When lifting your body, try to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.
- After that, inhale as you lie back and repeat the crunch movements up to 10-15 times.
2. Crunch variations
In addition to the standard crunch movements above, you can also do several variations of crunch movements as a form of abdominal exercise, such as:
- Bicycle crunch
This movement starts with lying on your back and hands are placed behind the head and elbows are positioned forward.
After that, lift both legs and do pedaling movements. When the left knee approaches the head, bring the right elbow to the left knee, then do the same movements on the right knee and left elbow. Perform these movements up to 10-15 times (counting 1 set), and repeat up to 2-3 sets.
- Vertical leg crunch
This movement also begins by lying on your back while placing your hands behind your head to support them, then lift your legs straight up at an angle of 90 degrees.
After that, slowly raise your shoulders to the raised knee and lower it down to its original position. Repeat this movement 12-15 times, and repeat until 2-3 sets.
Plank is one of the most effective abdominal exercises to make the abdomen slim and strengthen the lower back muscles. Here is how to do the right plank:
- Start with the prone position, then lift the body with support on the forearm and toes.
- Then, maintain the position of the body so that a straight line is formed from head to toe. When in this position, you will feel your stomach muscles tighten.
- Hold that position for 20–60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
Plank movements can also be done with other variations, one of which is the side plank. This movement aims to tighten the side muscles of the abdomen and leg muscles.
To do this, lie on the left side of your body, then lift yourself up by leaning on your lower left arm. Make sure your shoulders, hips and knees form a straight line. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat 8-10 times. After that, repeat on the right side of your body.
4. Boat pose
Boat pose is one of the yoga pose that can strengthen the core muscles of the body, namely the stomach, back, and pelvis. This movement can also improve body posture and train body balance.
This movement can be done in the following ways:
- Start in a sitting position while bending your knees and place your feet on the floor.
- After that, lean back and lift your legs slowly from the floor until the body forms a V.
- Maintain this position for 20-30 seconds while adjusting the breathing pattern, then position the body to its original position. Repeat this movement for 3-5 minutes.
In addition to abdominal exercises above, you can also get a slimmer abdomen by routinely doing other sports, such as jumping rope, swimming, cardio training, and pilates.
To get a slim stomach, undergoing abdominal exercises properly and truly isn’t enough. This exercise must also be accompanied by the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, for example eating a balanced nutritious food, and abstain from smoking and alcohol consumption.
If you have an abdominal muscle injury, such as abdominal pain accompanied by swelling, nausea, and vomiting, after doing abdominal exercises, you should immediately consult a doctor to get treatment.