Abdominal Exercises That Will Not Strain the Back or Neck

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Abdominal exercises engage the abdominal muscles. The motion can sometimes strain the upper and lower back as well as the neck. Toning the midsection doesn’t have to hurt the back or the neck! In today’s post, we are listing down abdominal workout that won’t stress the spine:

Bird Dog Exercise

The bird dog exercise strengthens the core while improving balance. Start by coming down on all fours on an exercise mat. Place the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees parallel to the hips. Then, pull the abdominal muscles; tighten the glutes before flattening the lower back. Slide the shoulder blades down the upper back before lifting the right hand off the floor. Extend the arm in front of the shoulder. At the same time, lift the left knee then extend the leg behind you at hip height. Hold this position for several seconds before going back to the starting position. Switch to the other side and do 10 reps on each side.

Planking

Planking is by far the best workout to tone the abdomen without straining the spine. This exercise will tone the abs while strengthening the lower back. Start by coming down on all fours, similar to a push-up position. Keep the hands directly under the shoulders while the toes are tucked. Lift the knees until the whole body is straight horizontally. Press your hands on the floor to keep yourself stable then pull the abdominal muscles. Maintain this position for a maximum of two minutes.

Side Plank

This is an excellent exercise to engage the obliques. It will tone the sides and shrink the waistline! Go on a plank position by lifting the left hand off the ground. Shift the body sideways, coming on the outside edge of your right foot. The right hand should remain on the floor for stability. Stack the left foot, hips, and shoulder over their right counterparts. Now lift the left arm to the ceiling but keep it in line with the shoulders. Maintain this position for at least 30 seconds. Release, then switch to the other side.

Hip Lift

This will engage the lower abdominal muscles while keeping the spine stable. Start by lying face up on the floor. Bring the legs up at a ninety-degree angle to the ground. Keep the upper body and head on the floor. Now, engage the abdominal muscles by lifting the hips a few centimeters off the floor then pushing the legs straight up. Go back down in a slow, controlled motion then repeat. Do at least 10 hip lifts.

Reverse Crunch

This is a variation of the regular crunch. Start by lying with your back flat on the floor. Keep the legs bent at the knees then lift the legs several inches off the floor. Curl both legs towards the chest then raise the buttocks off the ground by lifting the knees close to the chest. Do not lift the head; this will strain your spine. As you bring your legs up, exhale then inhale deeply as you lower them. The breathing will engage the abdominal muscles.


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