Abdominal muscles can get really tight, without you even realizing. This happens especially in cases of those who spend long hours sitting in the same position, whether it is watching television or sitting in the car or simply lying down.
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Tight abdominal muscles can reduce flexibility, cause injury and leads to accumulation of fat in the abdominal region. Stretches help in removing tightness, help in improving blood circulation and improve muscle flexibility. Chances of getting injured during workouts are also reduced. These easy abdominal stretches are quite suitable for beginners who find it tough to do strenuous workouts.
Here Are 6 Easy Abdominal Stretching And Toning Workouts To Reduce Tightness
1. Back Bending Abdominal Stretch
This is a simple exercise which stretches out the abdominal and helps to reduce the stiffness. You will need an exercise ball for this exercise. Start by sitting on on your exercise ball. Keep your feet on the floor and your knees bent. The toes shall be completely turned out for a perfect balance. You can lean a bit back and then walk your feet forward. You will walk till the ball is under the shoulders and back. Keep your head relaxed and towards the ground. Keep your arms open and by your sides. You can also keep your arms relaxed and towards the floor which will help to open the chest. You will then feel a stretch on your stomach and abdominal muscles. Repeat at least 12 times.
2. Standing Oblique Stretch
Start the exercise by standing tall and comfortably. Your hands will be just over the head. Keep your back straight. You will then lean to a side, till you feel a mild stretch in your abdomen and the side torso. Stay in this position for at least 10 seconds. You can then get back to the start position. You can repeat 10 times. If you feel any pain in between, you can stop. Repeat the workout in your opposite direction also.
3. Oblique Reach
This workout helps in targeting the abdominal muscles and reduces flabbiness. It tones the muscles and removes tightness or flexibility problems. Start by sitting on your knees. Keep the knees bent and with feet on the floor. You need to straighten your right leg. Now, slowly roll the spine in a C curve. You will place your left hand just behind the head. You can again extend your right arm. You will twist your body towards the left. Now, roll a bit backward and as much as you can. Hold on to this position for 5-10 seconds. You can then come up again. You can do 5 repetitions. You will switch sides again and repeat.
4. Rotating Stomach Stretch
This is an effective workout which helps in stretching out all muscles of the abdomen. This exercise is especially effective for the external and internal oblique muscles. For this exercise, you need to first lie down on the stomach. Keep your legs straight and on the floor. Keep your hands on the floor and also next to the shoulders. Your fingers shall be comfortably pointing in the forward direction. You need to push your arms straight. You will slowly work to raise the upper body from the floor. You can again bend the right arm. You can also twist the right torso towards the right. At this point, you will feel a good twist on your stomach. You can repeat on your other side. If you feel any pain, you need to stop the exercise at once. Start when you are comfortable.
5. Lying Abdominal Stretch
This is an easy movement which can be done in the lying position. Start by lying down on the exercise mat. Your upper body shall be nicely supported by your arms which shall be extended on the floor. This is similar to apush-upp position as you keep your knees on the floor.
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Slowly exhale and lift the upper body. You will feel the stretch in the abdominal muscles.
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If you want to make the routine a bit more challenging, you can slowly lift your chin towards the ceiling. However, remember not to force yourself or you might hurt your back.
6. Side Bend
This stretch will not just tone and loosen your stiff abdominal muscles, it helps in fat loss from the abdomen also. For this exercise, you need to sit down on the left hip. Keep your left leg bent and in front of your. Your left hand shall be below the shoulder. You can place the right foot completely flat on the ground. It will be in front of the left foot. Thus, your right knee shall point towards the ceiling. You can again rest the right arm on right knee. You can pull the abdominals inwards. Slowly press into the left hand and then lift the hips from the floor. As you will be coming up on the left knee, you can straight the right leg. You will raise the right arm. Move it over your head. You can form one line from the right fingers and towards the right toes. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. Then lower and repeat on your other side.