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Abdominal Curl

  Abdominal Curl

hills surrounding Toba Lake

Forget old-fashioned sit-ups that have you raising your body to an upright position with your legs out straight! They strain the lower back and do a lousy job of targeting the abdominal muscles.

Instead, master the abdominal curl, also known as the abdominal crunch. No exercise is better for strengthening and toning the abdominals, a group of muscles that held you stand erect and hold your internal organs in place. What's more, a strong abdomen is one of your greatest defenses against low back pain.

Abdominal curls are modified sit-ups in which you raise your shoulders slightly off the ground while keeping your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Below is a description of the basic curl and one of its variations:

  • Basic Curl -- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet 12 inches to 18 inches from the buttocks. Lightly clasp your hands behind your head with your elbows wide open. Next, press your lower back into the floor, and lift your upper back off the floor while keeping your eyes focused on the ceiling. Be careful not to pull on your neck. Then return slowly to the floor. Start with one set of 10 to 15 repetitions every other day. Try to add one or two repetitions each week until you reach 40.
  • Bench Curl -- Place your calves on a bench or chair to stabilize your hips in a flexed position and to target the abdominals a little differently.


(c) Jody Rondonuwu