FACT: Contrary to popular belief sit-ups are NOT the best way to firm up your tummy region. You should target your deeper and lower abdominal muscles.
Workouts for lower abdominal muscles:
Performing exercises known as pelvic lifts and pelvic tilts. Pelvic tilts are also great exercises for the lower back, abdominals, sacroiliac joint and adjacent structures.
To perform pelvic tilts you should lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent upwards. While flattening your back against the floor tighten your abdominal muscles and bend your pelvis up a little. Hold this position for 8 - 10 seconds. Repeat at least 5 times and try to work up to 10 to 20 repetitions.
To perform pelvic lifts lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent toward your chest region, your arms should be relaxed by your sides. Tense or tighten your lower abdomen and slowly lift your bum up off the floor until you are aiming your knees toward the roof. Hold for 8 - 10 seconds and repeat at least five times. As you progress you should try to work up to 10 to 20 repetitions of this exercise.
Your deeper abdominal muscles can be toned by:
Pelvic lifts, also great for losing buttock fat and for bad or sore backs. Begin by getting down on all fours and allowing your tummy to hang down as you take in a deep breath. Then exhale, at the end of your exhalation, pull your belly button inward and upward toward your spine until you feel a slight tightening around your waist area.
Breathing normally hold this position for the count of ten without altering your back position. Then allow your belly to relax again for the count of ten, without moving your back. Repeat this exercise 10 - 12 times. As you become more proficient at this routine you can even perform it in the upright position where ever you are, waiting for a bus or in a check out line etc.
Pelvic tilt exercise
1. Sit with your back straight and your hands on your knees.
2. Lean forward and forcefully exhale through your mouth to empty your lungs. This should make a loud whooshing sound (or wheezing sound if you’re a smoker or have little lung power).
Squeeze and contract your abs as you push all the air out - keep your face relaxed though.
3. When your lungs are completely empty, relax your abs and inhale slowly and smoothly through your nose as you return to the upright starting position.
Fill your lungs to no more than 1/2 full. That’s one round.
Immediately begin another round. Try and do 10 or 12 rounds the first time.
Build up to 3 sets of 25-30 rounds, morning, afternoon and evening.
- Firms your belly & tones your abs
- Tones your nervous system - do it when you feel uptight or upset
- Enhances digestion - do it before meals
- Increases blood circulation
- Relaxes & energizes
- Keeps your lungs and airways clear
- Try it standing with hands on hips. As you exhale move your hips and pelvis forward and slightly In between each round and after the last one, take several (or more) slow, deep breaths (through your nose) to balance your breathing again.
- At first you might cough, feel dizzy, see spots before your eyes and lose your breath. If so, stop, take some slow, deep breaths and try again. As your lungs become clearer and stronger it’ll stop happening.
- Curl your upper body and squeeze your abs as if doing a standing crunch. Relax as you inhale.