Straight Leg Abdominal Crunch
This abdominal exercise variation works the front as well as the side abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis and obliques).
- Lie down with your legs straight and your arms crossed over your chest or behind your head.
- Start the exercise by contracting and tightening your abdominal muscles. You should feel your lower back pressing into the mat. The bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hipbones should feel like they are trying to come closer together. Only then should you lift your head and shoulders.
- Hold the contraction for a second or two.
- Slowly lower yourself to the floor.
- Exhale as you curl up and inhale as you lower.
- Avoid lifting your head and shoulders before tightening and moving your abdominal muscles.
- Avoid pressing your chin into your chest. Maintain a fist distance between your chin and chest.
- This is an advanced exercise. Beginners are better off keeping the knees bent and feet flat on the mat.
- If you have lower back problems, avoid this exercise.
Do 12 - 15 slow repetitions. Rest. Do another one or two sets if you so desire.
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