The half curl is one of the most effective exercises for increasing strength in your abs and core. Your abdominal muscle group consists of several muscles, and having more information about these target muscles can aid in getting greater results.
Your Abs: An Overview
The abs and core consist of more than the “six pack” of the central abdomen. There are additional muscles that run on either side of those “six pack abs” called the obliques. The half curl targets the central abdominal muscles, giving you a flat toned waist line. But to achieve a slender “V” shaped waist, it is recommended that the half curl be combined with an oblique workout.
The half curl abdominal exercise really targets your abs. Make sure to maintain proper form to make this exercise more effective. Here are the steps to this ab-shredding exercise:
- Lie flat on your back on the floor. Make sure your back is flat against the floor and that your knees are bent with your feet resting flat on the floor as well.
- As you lie on the floor, gently rest your palms on the top of your thighs. You should be relaxed, lying on your back, knees bent, eyes focused on the ceiling.
- Curl up, bringing your shoulders and head up toward your knees as you contract your abs. Slowly slide your hands up your thighs until your fingertips can touch your knees.
- Make sure to exhale as you curl up, contracting your abs but keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed.
- Gently lower your shoulders back to the ground, returning to the floor, inhaling as you go.
Precautions & Recommendations
Make sure that you aren’t tucking your chin into your chest as you curl up. Keep your head up, eyes focused straight ahead. This will keep your neck relaxed and in line with your spine. Try to focus on keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed while only contracting your abdominal muscles.
If done correctly and regularly, this exercise can help you strengthen and firm those hard to target abdominal muscles. For best results, work this into your workout routine about 3-5 times per week. Increase your repetitions as you become stronger and build endurance. In order to see the best results, this should be coupled with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
It is also recommended that you stretch your muscles after these exercises. Alternate muscle groups each day in order to avoid muscle fatigue and cramping. A well-rounded strength training schedule might include abdominal exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a focus other muscle groups, such as legs or arms, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Combine the half curl with other abdominal exercises to increase the effectiveness of your abdominal workout and increase your abdominal strength.