Strong stomach muscles don’t just look good in a bikini or with your shirt off, they also help out the rest of your body. Developing your abs can help improve your posture. Well-developed stomach muscles can actually help your back remain stronger, allowing you to climb rocks more efficiently or hike up inclines without having to bend over.
The crossover crunch adds a little twist to the standard crunch. You begin by lying flat on your back in the crunch position with your feet flat and knees up. Clasp your fingers behind your head and when you rise begin by slightly twisting your body so that your right elbow is trying to touch your left knee. Return to the starting position and then do the same thing except twist you twist as if trying to touch your right knee with your left elbow.
The pelvic tilt is an exercise for the stomach muscles that you can toss in while you are down there on the floor getting bored with crunches. Adding pelvic tilts can create a little variety to your ab workout routine. Place your arms down by your sides while you lie flat on your back. Your knees should be bent and your feet should be flat on the floor. Press down against the floor with your lower back to make your pelvis tilt upward. Make sure you tighten your abs while doing this. Hold for a count of five and then return to the starting position.
Find yourself a sturdy bar you can hang onto at the gym or around the house or even by using a limb on a tree. Just make sure the bar is high enough that you can hang from it without your feet touching the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles as you bring your knees up toward your chest and then return to the starting position. This can be a pretty difficult exercise for those just starting out, but very rewarding over time as you become capable of doing more repetitions.
The bicycle criss-cross gives a workout to the upper part of your rectus abdominis muscles as well as your oblique abs. You begin by lying on your back with your hands behind your head. Hold both legs into the air and as you bring one knee back you try to meet it with the opposite elbow. If this becomes too similar to the crossover crunch for you, there is a way to increase its effectiveness and add variety. Instead of clasping your hands behind your back, hold a heavy ball in both hands. As you bring your left knee back you move the ball to the outside of that knee. As you stick your left leg out and bring your right knee in you move the ball to the outside of your right knee.