Golden rules for abs of steel
If abdominal exercises aren't done properly they can cause discomfort and pain (back and neck ache). Make sure you:
> Avoid doing exercises after a meal and wear light, comfortable clothing so that you don't restrict your breathing or your digestion.
> Do them regularly. A firm, flat tum requires sustained effort. If you do ten minutes of abdominals a day, you'll see the results of your efforts in three weeks. Remember not to slacken off though - if you stop using your abs they'll soon lose their tone!
> Breathe properly. When you're raising your chest off the ground, exhale gently through your mouth to raise and breathe in to lower. Make sure you keep your stomach pulled in.
> Place your hands on your forehead or fold them over your chest. Many people link their hands behind their head to do abdominals, but you shouldn't: it puts pressure on your neck and spine.
> Start each movement working from your stomach. During your ab sessions, pick exercises that don't work your hips and thighs so that you won't be in any danger of hurting your back. Neevr 'trap' your legs under a bed, ab trainer or object. Do exercises such as pedalling and scissors with your legs bent at an angle to your trunk.