Exercises for Abs and Back

Use the following exercises to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. You can do some of these every day, so long as you don't overdo it.

Leg extension

Leg curl

Pelvic Tilt

Position for the pelvic tilt

Lying on your back on the floor, preferably on a mat or folded towel for some cushion, bend your knees, rest your heels on the floor, and let your toes point up. Keep your arms at your side. Imagine gravity pulling your bellybutton onto the floor so that your lower back is flattened against the floor. This will cause your pelvis to rise slightly, and you should feel your abs tighten. Hold this position for several seconds, then relax and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Abdominal Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width part. Bring your arms up and put your hands under your head, thumbs pointing toward your ears. Don't interlock your fingers, even if your fingers overlap. Keep your head extended from your body so that your chin isn't digging into your chest. Start raising your trunk, curling up from your spine, using your abs — not your hands — to pull yourself up.

Start for the abdominal crunch

Finish for the abdominal crunch

Keep your elbows to the side and raise yourself up only enough to lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Pause, then bring your trunk back into position slowly for one repetition. Start by doing 3 sets of 15 reps, adjusting according to whether it feels like too much or not enough.

To increase the intensity of your ab crunch workout, try doing your reps with your legs off the floor, crossed at your ankles. Keep your knees bent and your butt on the floor.

Rather than lifting heavy weights only a few times like bodybuilders and power lifters do, emphasize lighter weights and more repetitions (12–15). Don't overdo exercises that might leave your legs fatigued for your next run. Instead, concentrate your efforts on your upper body and carefully choose the lower extremity exercises that work for you.

  1. Home
  2. Running
  3. Stretching and Weight Training
  4. Exercises for Abs and Back
Visit other About.com sites: