How to Tighten Stomach
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Best Stomach Exercises
It's only natural, for you to look your best, and exercising your stomach muscles is usually a huge part of most weight-loss and fitness programs. If so much time and energy is going to be focused on this muscle group, it's a good idea to know what the best stomach exercises are. There are many resources available for finding the best stomach exercises. There are plenty of experts to give advice on what they consider the best stomach exercises. So how do you decide which are the best exercises for working your stomach muscles?
First of all, it's important to note that the best stomach exercises are those that a you are willing to do. No matter how effective the exercise is, if you aren't going to do them consistently the exercise will not benefit you. It's also important to note the best stomach exercises do not necessarily require equipment to perform them, although some machines and equipment may work quite well for some people.
When you decide on a weight loss exercise program including stomach exercises, it is preferable to include stomach exercises which will work different areas of your stomach. If you simply concentrate on one area of the stomach, your workout will not be as effective. The best stomach exercises, combine working the oblique, which are the side muscles, the lower abdominals, the mid section and also the upper section.
Some of the most popular stomach exercises are crunches. This is a very effective exercise and very convenient since it can be performed anywhere without any equipment. The next stomach exercise that's popular and goes along with the basic crunch is the side crunch, which works out the oblique.
Some consider the best stomach exercises to be included in a Pilate's workout. The reason for this is because in Pilates, the whole focus is on the core of the body which is the abdominal, or stomach muscles. Every movement in a Pilate's workout will work the stomach muscles either directly or indirectly. These exercises can be found on the internet, either the exercise itself or video's that can be purchased.
Another good exercise that some fitness experts consider to be one of the best stomach exercises involves laying flat on your stomach, leg straight and then raising your body up using your arms as your hands are clasped together and keeping your body straight as if doing a pushup. Hold this position as long as you can stand. This is an excellent movement to strengthen the whole stomach.
Remember, that just because you may consider a specific exercise to be the best stomach exercise that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best for everyone. Each person's body is different and will respond differently to certain movements. Anyone serious about working on the abdominal muscles will find it most helpful to try several different stomach exercises and then determine which one you can both feel and see results with. If one exercise is simply too hard to do correctly, or does not feel like it has done anything for the muscle group worked, that exercise is clearly not the best and you should find exercises that work the best for you.
The Stomach Exercise All-Stars
There are many stomach exercises for those who want to shape their core and strengthen their body mid-section. This may be both a blessing and a curse. It is easy to find plenty of exercises and routines that work the midsection, but how does one know which ones are any good? Well, listed here are that appear to be the best around, according to recommendations by fitness experts. If you want to work on your stomach, but not sure where to start, then this "all-star team" may be a good starting point. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
Regular crunches are great for working the rectus abdominus (the muscles at the front of your stomach), but they do very little for the transverse abdominal muscles deeper in the midsection, plus they tend to put strain on your back and neck. This first exercise corrects that, working the transverse muscles with no back or neck strain. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating. To start, either lie on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible, then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for 10-seconds. If holding for 10-seconds feels easy, hold for a longer time. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, let the contraction out.
Remain on your back for this stomach exercise. Put your arms at your sides with palms facing up to the ceiling. Put your legs straight up in the air so that the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling and your legs make about a 90-degree angle with your torso. Keep your knees unbent and as straight as possible. Now, contract your ab muscles so that it feels like your belly button is being pulled toward your spine, while at the same time gently lifting your hips off the floor. Raise your hips to height of a few inches, keeping your legs extended straight upward. Hold this position, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
Long Arm Crunch
For this stomach exercise, remain on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Lie back and extend your arms straight back on the floor as though you are reaching above your head. Contract your ABS and slowly lift your arms, head and shoulders off the floor to about a 30-degree angle. Hold it, then slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set. Be careful not to lead with your arms, keeping them straight and alongside your head.
This stomach exercise also requires lying on the floor. Position your hands under your butt, keeping your back pressed against the floor. Slowly raise one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor. As your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this motion for an entire set. Maintaining control throughout is important, not allowing momentum to get the better of you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.
You will need to lie on your back for this exercise. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, and position your arms at your sides. Squeeze your buttocks as you lift your pelvis off the floor. Keep the rest of your body in line. Raise your pelvis to about 45-degrees, so your upper body from your head to your knees makes a straight, flat ramp. Hold this for 3 to 5-seconds before slowly lowering your pelvis back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
Tone Your Torso
Begin this stomach exercise on all fours, knees and hands on the floor. Keep your stomach pulled in and extend your left arm out in front of you (football fans, imagine a referee signaling first down). Keep this arm outstretched as you extend your right leg out behind you. Switch arms and legs, and repeat for an entire set. Take particular care not to let your pelvis sway out of position.
Some other honorable mentions include the vertical leg crunch, torso twists, and Pilates Yoga routine which emphasize the body core. Feel free to research some of these exercises more, once you have mastered the three above. Now that you are armed with some of the better stomach exercises, you are on your way to a thinner stomach.