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Good Exercise for Abdominal Muscles

Abdominal exercise is one of the most common forms of exercise because people are always wanting to improve their mid-sections. The United States is known for its prevalence of excess weight and obesity, but the problem is more than just an issue of physical appearance. Excess fat carried around the waist is more detrimental to someone’s health than fat in other areas. Because stomach fat contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, it is important that people learn effective ways to reduce their weight, especially in the stomach area. Though it is loathed by many, when abdominal exercise is used with other fitness routines like running or biking, it is one of the best ways to strengthen the area, tone the muscles, and slim down altogether.

Hints for Abdominal Exercise

There are many different forms of abdominal exercise. The most common--and popular--form is probably the basic crunch because it is the easiest to do. The basic crunch requires no specialized equipment and can be done nearly anywhere, from the gym to your home. However, when doing the stomach crunch it is important to remember to use the correct form or you can cause strain to other parts of the body and make the crunch virtually ineffective. The best way to do a crunch is to really focus on the stomach muscles you are working and isolate your muscle contractions in that area. Make the crunch slow and deliberate so that you can really feel the contraction and release. Be sure to avoid pulling up on your head or neck because this can cause neck strain. Placing your arms straight alongside your body can help you maintain proper form and do the abdominal exercise correctly.

If you want to incorporate some effective exercise equipment into your abdominal exercise routine, there are a few options you can try. Exercise balls and stretch bands are both popular choices that can really help isolate your efforts and give you better results. Exercise balls require you to use additional core muscles in each activity in order to maintain stability while on the ball. This means that while you are performing a simple crunch that works your lower abdominal muscles, your upper abs, obliques and back muscles are also working to maintain a stable position on the ball. Exercise bands are great to use in your ab routine, as well, because they are very inexpensive ways to add extra resistance to your moves and build stronger muscles. They can be used to work any area of the abdominals.

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