Abs exercises are not just about a tasty six-pack. Strong abs help you steer clear of back pain, boost your agility and increase your flexibility. Here are the best exercises to tone your abs and strengthen your core:

Abdominal hold

For this exercise, you need a sturdy chair. First, sit with your back straight on the edge of your chair. Put your fingers on the edge, pointing towards your knees. As you tighten your abs, lift your toes 5 to 10 cm off the ground and slowly move your butt off the chair.

Try to keep this position for as long as you can, at least 5 to 10 seconds. Then, let yourself back down on the chair and repeat for a minute.

The side crunch

The side crunch requires your balance. The first step is to stoop down and rest on your knees, shifting your gravity to your right side with your right palm on the floor for support. Slowly raise your left leg and point your toes. Put your left hand behind your head with your elbow pointing to the ceiling. Next, raise your leg as high as your hip with your arm extending above your leg, palm facing forward. Look out over your hand as you pull your left rib cage toward your hip. Then, go back to the first step and repeat 6 to 8 times.

After doing 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps, switch sides.

The hundred

Sit on a mat with your back straight. Bend your knees and keep your hands by your sides. Then, lie down while still keeping your knees bent and palms facing down. Exhale and lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Pump your arms repeatedly 15 cm up and down, fingertips reaching out. Breathe in after 5 pumps and exhale for 5 pumps. Keep your chin pointing toward your chest. Keep doing this for at least 100 pumps. Do not raise your back off the floor. Your abs should be pulled toward your spine to keep themselves engaged.

Opposite arm and leg raise

First, get down on fours. Your knees should be under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Lift your left arm as high as your shoulder and left leg as high as your hip. Keep this position for 2 counts. Pull your fingers toward and your heels backward, then switch sides. Repeat this for 20 times, switching sides as you going through the workout. If you can, touch your opposite elbow to your knee as you pull your arm and leg in to work your abs even harder.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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