Abdominal Curl with Partially Extended Legs

Doing the traditional abdominal curl with partially extended legs makes the obliques (muscles that criss-cross the abdominal wall) work together with the rectus muscle (straight muscle in the middle of the abdominal wall).

Exercise mat.

Exercise Technique

  1. Lie down with your hands behind your head and your knees bent with your feet directly under your knees.
  2. Contract and squeeze your abdominal muscles so your lower back flattens against the mat.
  3. Slowly move your feet away from you while maintaining the contact of your lower back against the mat. Stop when you feel you can no longer keep your lower back on the mat. This will be your starting position.
  4. Exhale as you contract your abdominal muscles to curl your head and shoulders upward.
  5. Hold for a second or two.
  6. Inhale as you slowly lower your upper body down.

Performance Tips

  1. To protect your lower back, it is important to only extend the legs as far as you can go while still being able to press the lower back to the mat.
  2. If this exercise bothers your back, please avoid doing it.
  3. Purposely contract your abdominal muscles before lifting your head and shoulders to avoid jerking and pulling on your neck.

Do 10 to fifteen repetitions slowly. Rest. Do another one or two sets or choose another type of abdominal exercise for variety.

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