Despite being extremely efficient in toning your abdominal muscles, sit-ups have proved to be the most disliked exercise of all. But, according to fitness instructors, there is another even more effective exercise for a flat belly which can substitute 1,000 sit-ups.
This static exercise requires that all the weight of your body lays on your hands and toes, while your body is completely straight. The only rule is that your body mustn’t move an inch. This exercise will not only give you a flat and toned belly, but will also improve your posture and relieve any back pain as the strong abdominal muscles give more support to the spine.
Fitness experts say doing this exercise several times a week for ten minutes a day will give better results than doing 1,000 sit-ups.
It’s important to ensure that your body is in the right position before starting the exercise. In fact, these five points are essential:
- Stretch your shoulders as much as you can while pressing your palms firmly on the floor. Make sure your neck is stretched out and your hands comfortable, not as if they are about to loosen up.
- Although your abdominal muscles carry most of the work, your leg muscles should also feel tense. If you don’t feel that tension in your leg muscles, position your heels further while pressing on your toes so that the quadriceps are more tensed. Then squeeze your buttocks in order to activate the muscles in your lower body.
- Hold your buttocks closer to the floor. Your body must resemble a straight line, not a triangle.
- Breathe in and out rhythmically in order to ease holding this body posture.
- Holding your body in the right position is essential and you can easily achieve this if you imagine a glass of water balancing on your lower back or a ball rolling from your nape to heel without being stuck in the lower back.
HOW TO DO THE EXERCISE
- Your back straight, press your hands and knees on the floor so that your wrists are in line with your shoulders.
- Look up about 30 inches ahead of you. Your nose facing the floor, position the back of your head in a parallel position to the ceiling.
- Stretch out your right leg backwards, your toes bent. Then stretch out your left leg. At this point your entire body should be resting on your hands and toes.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for about 20-60 seconds.
- Bending your knees, sit on your heels so that the big toes touch while your knees are separated.
- Lower your torso toward your thighs, while lightly touching the floor with your forehead. Stretch out your arms in front of you and relax.
- Do this exercise three times in a row. Once you get used to doing it, gradually increase the time you hold your stomach muscles tightened.