A flat stomach and good abs are something most people want. The following are six of the top ab toning exercises:
1. The basic crunch: This is an exercise that is great for every part of your abdominal muscles. In order to do this exercise, you lay with your back flat on the floor, and your knees bent. You put your hands behind your head, and using your abdominal muscles you lift your head toward your knees until your lower back is flat on the ground. Do 4 sets of 25.
2. The reverse crunch: These exercises are great for the lower portion of your abdominals. To do this, you lay on your back, bend your knees with your legs in the air, cross your ankles, and put your arms on the floor along side you. Your head should be flat on the floor, and you should slowly raise your hips off the floor. Raise them about two inches, and keep them steady, but don’t roll backward. Once your hips are two-inches or so off the ground, you will hold the position for two to three second, and flex your abdominal muscles. Keep your legs in the air, head and the floor, and arms on the floor. Then, lower you hips back to the floor. Do 4 sets of 25.
3. Side bends: To do this exercise, you should stand straight and hold a dumbbell in each hand. A 2-5 pound dumbbell should work. You will want to crunch toward the side opposite the dumbbell. Then, move back to the starting position. Slowly bend toward the other side. This is one rep. Do 4 reps of 10. As you get better at this, you can add resistance to build the lateral abdominal muscles by adding weight to the dumbells.
4. Leg raises: Leg raises will help you work the lower abdominal muscles. To do this exercise, you sit at the end of a bench. You are going to put your hands under your glutes, or just to the sides of them, and hold the edges of the bench for support. You are going to let your legs remain extended, and raise your legs without bending them at your knees. You are going to raise them as high as you can, and then lower them slowly until they are parallel to the floor. Repeat this exercise several times.
5. Seated leg tucks: For this exercise you are going to sit on a bench, and hold the sides for support. You are going to slowly raise your legs, and bend them at the knees a little. You are then going to do a crunch, and do it as hard as possible. You are then going to uncurl it and get back to start position. Do several reps of this.
6. Bicycle crunch: For this ab toning exerise, you want to lie on your back, with your shoulders off the ground just slightly, and with your legs raised and your knees bent to 90 degrees. You will want to put your hands on the side of your head. Once in this position, you will want to crunch your lower and upper body so your left knee and right elbow come close together. Now, do it the other way around, and repeat in reps of 10.