Who doesn't want a flat stomach or a nice six-pack? There are many different exercises that you can do to optimally train your abs. Now the abs are also a muscle group that you can easily train at home. For that reason, we have listed a number of abdominal exercises for your home below.
You don't need any materials for these exercises, except maybe a mat for extra comfort. In addition, the exercises have been tested and it has been scientifically proven that they deliver good results for your stomach. This of course still depends on the frequency with which you repeat the exercises, what you eat, etc. But the start is there! Read on quickly and you can start today.
The muscles in your stomach
Before you start training your abdominal muscles, it is important to know a little about the muscles first. There are a number of different muscles in your abdomen.
For the abdominal exercises for the home it is sufficient to know the four main groups and to understand their function.
Musculus transversus abdominis
The transversus abdominis muscle is also referred to as the transverse abdominal muscle. This is the least known of the four. This is because this muscle lies below the other muscles. Although this muscle is below the rest and we don't see it when looking at a flat stomach, it still has more influence than you think.
The transverse abdominal muscle has the function of keeping our intestines in place. Several muscles help with this, but the transversus abdominis muscle is the most important. In addition, a strong transverse abdominal muscle ensures a better posture and this muscle relieves the back.
Musculus rectus abdominis
Are you training hard for that tight six pack? Then your goal is to uncover the rectus abdominis muscle. This is our straight abdominal muscle and the muscle that is so visible with a six pack.
The main function of the straight abdominal muscle is to bend the trunk forward. This muscle also aids in the exhalation of the lungs. A six-pack can arise because this muscle is a segmented muscle that runs from the sternum to the pubic bone. This means that the muscle has three to four intermediate tendons. These tendons provide the blocks that you see.
The straight abdominal muscle becomes visible when someone has a low percentage of fat.
Musculus obliquus externus abdominis
The obliquus externus abdominis muscle is the outer oblique abdominal muscle. This muscle is responsible, among other things, for rotating the trunk. On each side of the abdomen, next to the rectus abdominis muscle, you will find an outer oblique abdominal muscle. When you look at the abdomen from the front, these two muscles make a V shape.
Musculus obliquus internus abdominis
This is, as you may suspect, the inner oblique muscle. These muscles lie next to the straight abdominal muscle and below the outer oblique abdominal muscles. These muscles also make a V-shape and, just like the outer oblique abs, are responsible for, among other things, rotating the torso.
Abdominal muscle exercises for the home
Now that you know what abdominal muscles are and what their function is, we can continue to the abdominal exercises. With each exercise we will also tell you which abdominal muscles you train with it. The only thing you need for these exercises is a mat. You can of course lie comfortably during sweating!
Dr. Peter Francis has researched for San Diego State University and sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) the effectiveness of abdominal exercises. The study found the most effective abdominal exercises. We have listed the best exercises that you can perform at home without materials in random order.
But before we explain the exercises to you we will first discuss the crunch. The rest of the exercises are based on this standard abdominal muscle exercise.
Basic exercise: basic crunch
Since a number of exercises below are based on the technique of the basic crunch, we will briefly explain the correct implementation of this exercise here. This way you can keep this movement in mind and use it as the basis for the other exercises.
For one thing, a crunch isn't the same as a sit-up. In a sit-up, your feet are on the floor and you bring your upper body all the way up. With a crunch, your feet are also flat on the floor, but only lift your head and shoulder blades off the ground. Your lower back stays on the floor.
How do you perform a basic crunch? First of all you lie down on the floor or on a mat and put your feet flat on the floor. Keep your legs in this position, bring your hands behind your head and rotate your elbows slightly forward. Then bring your head, shoulders and chest towards your knees. Make sure to keep your gaze on the ceiling. This ensures a straight neck and prevents you from pulling too hard on your neck. When you have made the crunch you will slowly come back. Avoid a hollow back by pressing your back against the mat during the exercise.
Exercise 1: abdominal air bike
The abdominal air bike, also called the air bike, is effective for both the straight abdominal muscle and the oblique abdominal muscles, according to the study. The name of the exercise comes from the cycling movement you make during the performance.
To start, lie flat on your back on the floor. Place your hands behind your head with the elbows out. Then turn your elbows slightly forward. Raise your knees so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Your knees are at a ninety degree angle in this position. From this position you make a controlled cycling movement. You do this by first extending your right leg and at the same time bringing your left knee closer to your chest. Then you change legs and you automatically make the cycling movement.
To properly train your abdominal muscles during this exercise, you move your shoulders from the ground while performing the cycling movement. You use your abs directly in this way. Keep your shoulders off the ground during the entire exercise. For an extra stimulus of the oblique abs you make an extra crunch. You do this by touching your left knee while cycling with your right elbow when it comes towards your chest. You also do this with your left elbow when your right knee moves towards your chest.
So you move both your legs and your upper body during this exercise. This engages all abdominal muscles. Do you want to make the exercise heavier? Then run it more slowly. This creates more intensity.
Exercise 2: vertical leg crunch
This exercise is also good for both the straight and oblique abs. The vertical leg crunch is a variation on the regular crunch.
Also for this exercise lie flat on your back on the floor or on your mat. Put your hands behind your head again and turn your elbows slightly forward. Then lift your legs straight up with your knees slightly bent and feet crossed. Use your abs to move your torso towards your legs. Make sure your chin doesn't touch your chest. This is easiest if you keep looking at the ceiling during the exercise. If you keep your chin on your chest, you are pulling your neck too much.
To make the exercise heavier, don't lie completely flat again after doing one rep, but keep your shoulders off the floor. This way you keep constant tension on your abdominal muscles.
Exercise 3: reverse crunch
The reverse crunch is slightly more effective for the oblique muscles than for the straight abs, but nonetheless, you will still engage all abdominal muscles.
You actually do a reverse crunch here. To start, lie down on your back on the floor or on a mat. Then raise your legs at an angle of ninety degrees.
While you bring your upper body to your knees during the basic crunch, during the reverse crunch you bring your knees to your upper body. So tighten your abs and bring your legs towards your chest. Then you slowly lower your hip again. Come back to the position you started in (with the legs at a ninety degree angle). During the exercise your upper body remains flat on the floor. You can put your hands under your head or at your sides. You can decide for yourself what you like.
To make the exercise harder, you can raise your hips so that the knees come towards the chest, and then slowly lower back.
Exercise 4: crunch with whole push
Here it is all the turn of the abdominal muscle groups, but the emphasis is on the straight abdominal muscle.
Lie flat on your back again and place your feet flat on the floor. Then lift your toes up so that your feet rest on your heels. Put your hands under your head and put your upper body in a crunch. If you cannot continue crunching, push your heels into the ground. With this movement you also push your lower back further into the ground. When you push your lower back into the ground you can lift your glutei slightly off the ground. This allows you to achieve a crunch that appeals just a little more to the muscles than the regular crunch.
If you lift your glutei slightly off the ground you can compare this with the start of the reverse crunch. This may help you with the execution of the exercise.
Research has shown that these abdominal exercises are very effective at home. If you have always wanted a six pack, you can also work on it at home!
Do you have any tips for abdominal exercises at home?
Let us know in a response!