Good Abdominal Exercises

Good Abdominal Exercises

3 Good Abdominal Exercises For Runners

Looking for good abdominal exercises for runners? Look no further. The bicycle, reverse sit-up and reverse trunk twist are the only abdominal exercises you’ll ever need.

As part of a regular strength training program, good abdominal exercises do more than enhance your running. They strengthen your core muscle groups, reduce the risk of injury to muscles and bones and tone all three layers of abdominal muscles: the transversus abdominus, which provides our stability, the rectus abdominus, which enables us to flex our spine, and the internal and external obliques, which allow us to twist, turn and perform lateral movements.

When it comes to running, good form is everything. Ideally, runners lean slightly forward with their belly buttons pulled towards their spines, heads up and eyes facing forward. Backs should be straight, shoulders down, elbows held close to their sides. Hands loose.

Slump forward or tense the shoulders and you lose all momentum. The ability to hold yourself erect and run with your abdominal muscles engaged leads to greater stamina, endurance, speed and comfort.

By strengthening core muscles good abdominal exercises can make a world of difference to your success as a runner. This is true whether you are young or old, male or female, run competitively or strictly for recreational purposes. Good abdominal exercises also reduce back pain, which is a common complaint of many runners.

When most people think of good abdominal exercises they think of crunches or traditional sit-ups. In truth, these aren’t very good abdominal exercises. Traditional sit-ups don’t provide much of a work out for your abs. They actually emphasize the hip flexors. Try these reverse sit-ups to work your lower abs instead.  
Instead of crunches, perform the more efficient bicycle.

The bicycle
transversus abdominus, rectus abdominus, obliques

Lie flat on the floor with your hands clasped comfortably behind your head. Press your lower back against the dominal exercises for seniors core ground and raise your knees to a 45°. Keep your feet on the floor.
To protect your spine, keep your abdominal muscles contracted throughout this exercise. To do this, imagine your belly button is being pulled towards your spine. Do not hold your breath.
Pull one knee towards your chest as you lift the opposite leg a few inches off of the ground and straighten it.
Alternate your legs slowly and deliberately.
Repeat 10 to 16 times.

Reverse sit-up
lower rectus abdominus

Lie flat on the floor. Bend your legs. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your arms straight out at your side. The palms of your hands should face the ground.
Raise your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
Slowly bring your legs to your chest, raising your pelvis off of the floor.
Return your legs to the position in step 2.
Complete 10 reps. Increase the number of reps gradually each week.

Reverse trunk twist
internal and external obliques

Lie flat on the floor with your arms straight out at your side. The palms of your hands should face the ground.
Press your legs together. Raise them to a 90° angle.
Keeping your head, back and arms on the floor, lower your legs to the right until they touch the floor. Slowly return to the position in step 2.
Repeat on the left side.
Begin with 10 repetitions on each side. Increase gradually each week.

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