There are always right ways and wrongs ways of doing something. Same goes for stomach exercises. This article aims to highlight the wrong ways of doing some stomach exercises. You should be wary of these habits, as they can lead to injury, besides not having any positive impact on your body. Of course, as with doing other exercises, make sure you consult a professional before your begin and always warm up properly. Now, keep these tips in mind when doing your stomach exercises.
When you are performing stomach crunches, always keep your knees up, with your feet flat on the floor. Knees should be bent and pointed upwards. Also keep them centered. If you lean your knees to either side, you are putting pressure on your vertebrae unnecessarily. Putting pressure on your back could lead to serious back injury.
The traditional sit-up actually does nothing for your stomach. Sit-ups will mostly strain your hip muscles instead of help you flatten your tummy. When doing sit-ups also, you tend to pull your torso with your arms. This of course is not the point of this exercise. What's more many people tend to perform sit-ups quickly, thus have the momentum forcing the torso go up and down, instead of utilising any muscle group. Instead of the sit-ups, try the crunch which is the better alternative.
The Straight Leg Lifts
Yet another 'old school' stomach exercise is the straight leg lifts. When doing leg lifts, you tend to work out your lower back rather than your stomach muscles. Besides that, this exercise also puts a lot of pressure on your back, which could lead to possible back injury.
How many reps are good enough?
In the case of stomach exercises, never exceed more than fifty reps. If, after doing fifty reps, you don't feel or see any results, then perhaps it is not going to do much good even if you try doing more. As you gain more strength and build more muscles, and should you feel like the exercises that you do are too easy for you, try a more challenging exercise instead of doing a simple one for more than fifty reps.
How does sleeping come into the picture?
Did you know that the way you sleep could have an impact on your stomach exercise routine? For example, let's say the way you sleep causes you back pain. This will make it more difficult for you to target your stomach area during your exercise in the morning. One sure way to get an aching back is if you sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach makes your back arch in an unnatural way, causing an annoying ache later in the morning. So the best way to sleep is to lie on your back with your knees on a pillow. Not only will this keep your back in line, it will also keep you away from that painful back during your exercise routine.
Resistance? What resistance?
In order to be effective, all stomach exercises need some sort of resistance. This can come in many ways: gravity, a resistance band or even an exercise ball. Any exercise that has no amount of resistance (for example the standing broomstick twist) will not have much impact on your stomach muscles. The good thing about a standing broomstick twist is that it will not do any harm, and is a good way to warm up. Just don't expect it to help reduce the size of your tummy.
Remember, the right techniques in exercise are vital to your well-being. The above are but some tips to guide you to avoid injury and to prevent you from wasting your time. You should constantly do extensive research before you start on a new routine, and consult a professional and a physician before you embark on any exercise.