As a common trouble spot that has inspired a large array of exercise machines and specialized diets, getting a fantastic midriff requires patience and dedication. A small waist can also be a sign of a healthy heart and a low risk for cardiovascular trouble. When it comes to exercises that work your midriff, the following moves can help to create a great midsection.
1. Dumbbell Bends
Holding a light free-weight in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Gently bend at the waist, dropping one shoulder downward, stretching the oblique muscles on the opposite side of the torso. Pull your body up to its starting position and repeat the action on the opposite side. If you are just beginning a weight routine, this exercise can also be performed without weights for the first few weeks. 15 to 20 repetitions are plenty and you should look to eventually work up to three sets.
2. Classic Crunches
As one of the most well-known exercises that target the midriff, crunches are an abbreviated form of sit ups that are designed to place less stress on the neck and back. To perform crunches, lie on your back, bending your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands at your sides and lift your shoulders upward, contracting your stomach muscles as you do so. To increase the difficulty of your crunches, cross your arms behind your head and place each hand on the opposite shoulder.
3. Trunk Rotations
While flat on your back on the floor, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Rotate your knees sideways toward the floor on your left side, keeping your upper body static. Slowly rotate your knees back up to their starting position and repeat the action for the other side, lowering your knees toward the right. When you first begin this exercise, you'll want to wait a few seconds between each repetition. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, slow your movement but decrease time spent stationary at the starting position.
4. Bicycle Crunches
While lying with your back flat on the floor, place your hands behind your head (don't clasp your fingers). While making a bicycle motion with your legs, raising one knee and then the other, bring each elbow to the opposite knee as your legs rotate.
Tips for the Best Midriff Experience
In addition to the moves listed above, it is important to remember that a healthy, low-fat diet is the best way to make all that hard work and exercise shine. No matter how fabulous your midriff muscles may be, if your level of body fat is too high, no one will be able to appreciate your hard work. A healthy, sensible diet is the best way to showcase the effort and hard work you put into your exercise routine.
It is also important to remember to breathe evenly whenever engaging in these exercises. Try a few slow practice repetitions of each exercise to get your body used to the motion, so forgetting to breathe doesn't become an issue while concentrating on your movements.