To be most effective, abdominal exercises should include focus on working the following muscles:

  • The abdominal muscles
  • The lower abdominal muscles
  • The outside (oblique) muscles

Pelvic Tilt - Lie on floor with knees bent, feet parallel and arms to the side

  • Tighten lower abdominal muscles, pulling the navel and lower back toward the floor, without using buttocks or leg muscles
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • 5-10 repetitions

Trunk Curl - Lie on floor with knees bent and arms crossed on the chest

  • Using upper abdominal muscles, raise trunk of body off the floor slightly, to about 15 degrees
  • Hold 5 seconds
  • Lower trunk slowly to the floor.

To be effective, motion should raise the chest, rather than the head or neck, and only be only a slight lift. Rising too far, to a sitting position, works leg muscles not the abdominals.


Water Exercise/Leg Lifts - Stand in the pool next to the side wall with one hand on the edge


Exercise Ball/Sit-ups - Sit on the exercise ball with back in neutral position, feet flat on floor and arms straight overhead

Next Page: Back Exercises