To build a fit, strong and athletic body, abdominal training is a must. Power to the upper body and arms is transferred from the lower body via the cylindrical group of muscles that constitute the Core of the body. And in this cylindrical unit, abdominals play a vital role. The importance of the core cannot be underestimated. It supports and maintains a strong neutral spine. Strength in the abdomen is necessary for stability to the entire body and also to heighten performance in all forms of exercise. A stable body can carry out activities of daily living easily giving us a great quality of life.
After beginning with crunches on the floor to train the Rectus Abdominis, it is now time to work on increasing the effort. To strengthen the Rectus Abdominis, crunches can be done on a bench that is angled for a decline. The slope in the bench forces the body to fight gravity through greater range.
Choose an angle where you can achieve 8-12 reps with moderate to high effort.
- Position yourself on a decline bench so that your feet are secured by the pads.
- Lay back and place your hands behind your head interlacing your fingers
- Tuck your chin, keeping your eye gaze towards your navel.
- Bring your elbows close to each other keeping them parallel.
- Inhale deeply and begin to flex your trunk, assuming a fetal position.
- Exhale throughout the movement.
- Come up with a lot of force, contracting your abdominals hard. Your shoulder blades should rise off the bench.
- Inhale as you return to neutral position on the bench.
- Go in for the next rep.
Progress by taking the bench to a steeper angle. Greater the slant of the bench, greater is the load on the Rectus Abdominis.
Senior Faculty (Exercise Science)
K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences
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