One of the best ways to help tighten your abdominal muscles is by performing an ab crunch workout. You can do ab crunches at the gym, or in the privacy of your own home. Try working out with a partner, to make your abdominal training sessions more enjoyable.
Before you attempt an ab crunch workout, do some light stretching. Ab crunches require you to lift your head and upper back off of the floor, so loosening up will help you prevent straining any muscles in these areas. If you are working out at the gym, there should be mats available for you to use for ab crunches. If you are working out at home, place a towel or mat underneath of you, so you do not have to lie down directly on the carpet.
Performing an Ab Crunch
To perform an ab crunch, lie down on the floor or mat and bend your knees. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and place your hands behind your head (or cross them in front of you if you prefer). If you choose to put your hands behind your head, do not actually touch your head with your fingers, or you will decrease the effectiveness of the exercise.
To start the movement, slowly lift your head and shoulders up and lean forward until your shoulder blades are a few inches off of the floor. Squeeze your ab muscles at the top of the movement, and hold the position for at least one second. To finish the repetition, slowly lower yourself back down, but do not let your head touch the floor.
Continue to work your abs for at least 10 repetitions. After you finish the first set, you can either take a break before resuming your ab workout or move on to another type of exercise at the gym. For example, you may want to do a set of crunches, work your arms and legs for a few sets, then perform another set of ab crunches.
Increasing the Intensity
To increase the intensity of ab crunches, instead of counting the number of repetitions that you perform, try setting a timer. For example, set a timer for 2 minutes and then do ab crunches until the timer goes off. As your muscles grow stronger and ab crunches become easier to perform over time, keep increasing the number of minutes that you perform the workout.
Another way to increase the intensity of your ab workout is by varying the position of your feet. So far, you have only been doing ab crunches with your feet flat on the floor. Try lifting your feet off of the ground until your toes point toward the ceiling, then cross your ankles. Ab crunches with your feet in this position will work on more of the connector muscles around the abdominal area, since you lose the stability of having your feet flat on the floor.