As crazy it sounds, summer is right around the corner. Bikini season is creeping up on us, which means it is time to start working on those abs. Today I want to teach you how to feel your abs more in a workout.
If you are someone who struggles to engage your abs, has lower back pain, or just wants a more effective core workout – keep reading.
My first tip is to stretch your hips! Everyone sits way too much throughout the day. All that sitting tightens the hip flexors. Tight hip flexors prevent core muscles from working effectively. In fact, tight hips actually cause the lower back to activate. This is the opposite of what we want! Stretch out your hips daily and right before your workout to resolve this issue.
My next tip is to start small. Pick exercises that have a small range of motion, like crunches or baby bicycles. When you keep the movement small, you can isolate your abdominal muscles better. The more limbs you include in your ab exercises, the more difficult it is to isolate the core. If you are struggling to engage your abs, set yourself up for success by keeping the exercise simple. I am not saying to completely eliminate those more complex exercises, but hold off until you feel more confident.
Finally, remember to breathe. Exhale on the effort to give yourself more energy. For most exercises that means exhale when you lift in your crunch, when you twist in your bicycle, and any time you contract.
Breathing will make you feel stronger. It will help you contract deeper in each exercise so you can feel your abs more.