If you’re interested in toning your stomach muscles — or your “abs,” as fitness enthusiasts call them — you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways to work your abs, and the Internet abounds with helpful instructions for all ability levels. You won’t even have to shell out big bucks for special equipment or a gym membership if you don’t want to.
Your stomach muscles, or abs, aren’t there just to look good. These muscles are part of your core, the muscles of your stomach, lower back and pelvis, are important to your overall health. They protect your spine, keep you balanced, and help stabilize your entire body, according to MayoClinic.com. Working your abs is a good long-term fitness investment.
Working Out With No Special Equipment
If your financial resources or limited, or you just don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on special equipment, don’t worry. You can tone your stomach muscles using nothing but the weight of your own body or a few things you’ll find around the house. Fitness Magazine offers a workout consisting of crunches, pulls, and other basic moves.
Working Out with a Fitness Ball
If you’ve got a little bit of money to invest in some exercise equipment, or want to add variety to your routine, you can tone your stomach muscles with a stability ball, also known as a Swiss ball or fitness ball. These balls are one of the most effective ways to work your core, and the Mayo Clinic website recommends them for that reason. The clinic website offers a complete, 10-slide slide-show of basic exercises.
Using a Variety of Equipment
If you’ve got the funds to invest in equipment, or have access to a well-stocked gym or community center, add variety to your ab workout and do a variety of exercises using stability balls, resistance bands, and medicine balls. Acefitness.org, the official website of the American Council on Exercise, has workout instructions for a varied routine. However, if you’re using shared equipment, make sure it is clean and in good repair.
Resources for You
MayoClinic.com: Core Exercise Slideshow Fitness Magazine : The Complete Routine MayoClinic.com: Slide-Show: Core Exercises with a Fitness Ball YouTube: 10-Minute Toning Workout: Sculpt Your Abs without Crunches