Have you been working out your abs, but are unsure of how to stretch your abs or if it is even necessary? Ab stretches are absolutely necessary as you workout, as they help to build and stabilize your core muscles. They are effective because they move your body in the opposite direction of typical ab workouts, such as crunches and sit-ups. So let’s go on to learn how to stretch abs with 4 upper and lower ab stretches. These are stretches that are particularly effective as cool down stretches for abs.
- Begin by lying on the floor with your legs fully extended and arms just below shoulder level.
- Push only your upper body up, fully extending your arms, and focusing on driving your back upwards.
- Continue until just before you can no longer maintain contact with the ground with your upper thighs and the bottom of your hips.
- Maintain this position for the duration of your set.
Muscles involved: Abdominals
Child’s Pose Against The Wall
- Begin sitting up straight on your knees, with your knees wider than hips-distance and your big toes touching.
- Extend your arms up and out, so you place your hands on the wall.
- Breathe into the pose, letting your torso naturally float towards the floor.
- Hold the pose and repeat.
Muscles involved: Lower back, Abdominals, Shoulders
- Begin by resting your hands and knees on the floor. Your knees should be under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders.
- Keep your back flat and your abdominals engaged. This is your starting position.
- Inhale, arch your back from your tailbone to your neck, and rest your abdominals. Imagine a string is pulling your back up towards the sky, where your stomach relaxes and your back is engaged.
- On your exhale, drop your head and round your back.
- Slowly move between the two positions.
- Return to starting position to complete the stretch.
Muscles involved: Neck, Shoulders, Spine, Abdominals, Chest
Chest Opener on a Stability Ball
- Begin by sitting on a stability (exercise) ball.
- Lean back and walk your feet out until your knees are bent. Now the ball supports your spine and your feet keep you stable.
- Walk your feet out further to straighten your legs and stretch your arms out over your head for a deeper stretch.
- Hold and breathe deeply.
- Walk it back in and sit up and complete the stretch.
- Repeat as needed.
Muscles involved: Back, Abdominals, Chest, Shoulders
Now that you know how to stretch your abs, it is time to implement them! Do a warm-up before any exercise routine, get your workout in, and follow up with a proper cool down. Try a couple of these stretches after your next time exercising or simply when you need a good stretch.