Beginner and advanced exercises for the abdominal and lower back muscles

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1 Beginner and advanced exercises for the abdominal and lower back muscles Professionally managed by: Mission: The National Institute for Fitness and Sport is committed to enhancing human health, physical fitness and athletic performance through research, education and service. NIFS strives to accomplish this by encouraging the adoption of healthy behaviors which improve the quality of life for people of all ages and abilities.

2 Introduction to Core Conditioning Booklet Core Anatomy This guide was developed to assist you with core exercise technique and variety. Important Tips: Slow and controlled motion Exhale on the exertion Keep a fist distance between your chin and your chest. Concentrate on contracting your abdominal or back muscles, and not your arms and shoulders. Elbows should be out of your line of sight. Practice balance. Exercise all core muscles abdominals and low back. For specific recommendations on how many repetitions, sets, and frequency of exercises, please ask an LFC trainer.

3 Spot Reducing Myth It is impossible to spot reduce! Crunches and other abdominal exercises will strengthen the muscle. They will not reduce body fat around the waist. Rely on a balanced combination of cardiovascular activity, strength training, and good nutrition to accomplish your goal. The desired six-pack is unfortunately genetically predisposed. There is not a magic pill or trick. An LFC trainer can help you set realistic goals and motivate you. To get the most from your workouts, simply ask a trainer, or set up an appointment at the front desk, ext Table of Contents Crunch 4 Reverse Crunch 5 Ab Roller Crunch 6 Alternating Crunch 7 Elbow to Knee Crunch 8 Hands Through Knees Crunch 9 Plank 10 Lying Side Bends 11 V-Ups 12 Decline Bench 13 Crunch Stability Ball 14 Alternating Crunch Stability Ball 15 Crunch w/ Marching Legs Stability Ball 16 Reverse Crunch Stability Ball 17 Medicine Ball Crunch 18 Alternating Medicine Ball Crunch 19 Knee Lift w/ Medicine Ball 20 Standing Torso Twist Medicine Ball 21 Sit Up w/ Partner Medicine Ball Toss 22 Hands Trough Knees Medicine Ball 23 Decline Crunch On Bench w/ Medicine Ball 24 Superman 25 Alternating Superman 26 Alternating Superman Stability Ball 27 Back Extension Stability Ball 28 Back Extension Machine 29

4 Crunch Back Extension Machine Lie supine on floor with legs bent. Push lower back to floor. Place hands behind the head to support the neck. Adjust footplate, and weight. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting chest and shoulders up off the ground. Do not pull on the neck. Lower the chest back down toward the ground, but do not let shoulders touch. With hands on thighs, extend backwards until hips form a 120 degree angle with the lower and upper body. Return to starting position.

5 Back Extension Stability Ball Reverse Crunch Laying prone, support hips on stability ball. Feet should be on the floor, hands behind head. Lie flat on the floor, push lower back to floor. Arms at your sides or beside your head. Cross feet at ankles. Lift feet off floor until knees are at 90 degree angle. Let trunk flex slightly, rounded over ball, and then slowly extend the spine, lifting the chest off the ball until the spine is straight or slightly extended. Return to starting position. Press lower back to floor while contracting abdominal muscles, which will rotate hips and push legs toward the ceiling. Exhale as you contract, inhale as you return to starting position.

6 Ab Roller Crunch Alternating Superman Stability Ball Lie supine on floor with legs bent, place head and elbows on appropriate Ab Roller pads. Place hands on frame in a comfortable position. Lay prone on ball, legs and arms outstretched. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting chest and shoulders up with the Ab Roller. Let head relax on Ab Roller and do not pull with your arms. Lower upper body back toward the floor. Raise chest, right arm and left leg up off floor and ball. Return to starting position, keeping the chest slightly off ball, and repeat with the opposite side. Keep head and neck neutral, inline with the spine.

7 Alternating Superman Alternating Crunch Lie prone on floor, with legs and arms outstretched. Supine position with arms crossed over chest. Raise chest, right arm and left leg up off floor. Return to starting position, keeping the chest slightly off floor, and repeat with the opposite sides. Keep head and neck neutral, inline with the spine Slowly curl up, and rotate right shoulder toward left knee. Repeat on right side, then alternate sides, or perform multiple repetitions on each side.

8 Elbow to Knee Crunch Superman Lie supine on floor with left leg bent and right ankle crossed over at the left knee. Repeat with right leg bent and left ankle crossed over. Push lower back into floor. Place hands behind the head to support the neck. Lay prone on floor, legs and arms outstretched. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting chest and shoulders up off the floor. Twist to the side to bring left shoulder toward right knee. Repeat on opposite side. Do not pull on the neck. Lower chest back down toward the floor, but do not let Raise chest, arms, and legs up off floor as far as you comfortably can, and return to starting position, lifting the chest slightly off the ground. Keep your head and neck neutral, inline with spine.

9 Decline Crunch On Bench w/ Medicine Ball Hands Through Knees Crunch Lie supine on decline bench. Hold medicine ball on chest. Lie supine on floor with legs bent. Push lower back to floor. Place hands between legs with arms extended. Sit up until back is off bench and return to starting position. Crunch up until upper back is off floor and return to starting position.

10 Plank Hands Through Knees Medicine Ball Lie prone on floor, elbows directly under shoulders. Place feet hip width apart, toes underneath you. Lie supine on floor with legs bent. Push lower back to floor. Hold a medicine ball above the head with arms extended. Raise body off floor until positioned in a straight line from head to heels. Contract core muscles and tuck hips under to support the back. Hold for seconds and release. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting chest and shoulders up off floor. Reach with straight arms through the knees. Do not pull on the neck. Lower the chest back down, but do not let shoulders touch.

11 Sit Up w/ Partner Medicine Ball Toss Lying Side Bends Both partners lay supine, facing each other, with feet side by side. One partner holds ball at chest level. Lie supine on the floor with arms at the sides of the body. The medicine ball is passed between partners as both curl up, lifting shoulders off floor. When returning to floor, the recipient holds the ball to the chest. Repeat. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch or bend to the right side of the body moving your right hand towards your right ankle. Return to starting position and repeat with the left side of the body.

12 V-Ups Standing Torso Twist Medicine Ball Lie supine on floor with legs straight and arms at your sides. Stand back to back with a partner. Hold a medicine ball at chest height, arms in close to your body. Bend at waist, raising your legs and arms. Continue until your legs and arms touch above your abdomen. Keep your back flat. Return to the starting position. Pass the ball clockwise to your partner, turning the entire torso, not just the arms. Contract abdominals and hold. Perform repetitions in both directions.

13 Knee Lift w/ Medicine Ball Decline Crunch Lie supine on the floor with legs bent. Place medicine ball between knees. Arms at sides. Lie on a decline bench with feet secured, and arms across chest. Lift hips off the ground, rotating them toward your abdominal muscles, and press your lower back to the floor. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting torso up off the bench. Do not pull on the neck. Lower torso back down toward the bench, but do not let shoulders touch.

14 Crunch Stability Ball Alternating Medicine Ball Crunch Lie supine on ball. Place arms behind head (harder) or across chest (easier) feet on the floor. Supine position on floor with legs bent. Push lower back to floor. Hold medicine ball with arms extended. Crunch up, lifting torso off ball with lower back pushed into the ball. Exhale as you crunch, and inhale as you return to the starting position. The closer the buttocks to the floor, the easier the exercise. The farther away from the floor (supported by the ball) the harder the exercise. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting chest and shoulders up off floor. Lift and rotate shoulders during the crunch, so the medicine ball is to the left of the left knee and to the right of the right knee. Can be done as three points: towards the left knee, through the knees, and towards the right knee. Do not pull on the neck. Lower the chest back down toward the floor, but do not let the shoulders touch.

15 Medicine Ball Crunch Alternating Crunch Stability Ball Supine position on floor with legs bent. Holding a medicine ball, place arms above the head (harder) or near abdomen (easier), feet on floor. Lie supine position on ball with arms crossed over chest. Using the abdominal muscles, crunch up, lifting chest and shoulders up off floor. Either hold the ball in a straight line with the upper body (over head hold) or push the ball through your knees (abdominal hold) with extended arms. Slowly curl up, and rotate left shoulder toward right knee. Return and repeat, alternating sides, or perform multiple repetitions to each side.

16 Crunch w/ Marching Legs Stability Ball Reverse Crunch Stability Ball Lie supine on ball. Place arms behind head (harder) or across chest (easier), feet on floor. Supine position on floor, push lower back into floor. Place arms behind head (harder) or arms to side (easier). Crunch up, lifting torso off ball with lower back pushed into the ball. Exhale as you crunch, and inhale as you return to starting position. As you perform each crunch, alternate raising your left and right foot. The closer the buttocks to floor, the easier the exercise. The farther from the floor (supported by the ball), the harder the exercise. Press lower back to floor while contracting your abdominal muscles. Rotate hips and push legs toward the ceiling lifting the legs and ball. Exhale as you contract, inhale as you return to starting position.

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