Your abs will feel like a corset.
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If you've lost weight and want more defined abdominal muscles, you can strengthen this area with several key exercises. According to the Mayo Clinic, a strong core will make everyday movement more efficient and help prevent lower back injury. Rebuilding your stomach muscles after losing weight can be exciting, because you'll start to see muscle definition and you will fit better in your jeans.
Crunch Your Way to Muscle
The decline crunch hits all the abdominal muscles. Lay back on a decline bench with legs secured under the padding and your arms crossed over your chest. Exhale as you roll your shoulders up while contracting the abdominal muscles. Pause for a second and inhale while lowering your body back down slowly. Repeat. Work your way up to 25 repetitions. If you want more challenge, work your way up to holding a 25-lb. weight plate in both hands.
Cycle Your Strength
Bicycle crunches target your lower belly, the rectus abdominis, and obliques, which are the sides of your abdomen wall. Lay on the floor with your knees bent and place both hands behind each side of your head. Bend your knees, moving them upward perpendicular to the floor while your lower legs are parallel to the floor. In a cycling motion, kick forward with your right leg. Simultaneously, bring your left knee inward towards your core as you roll your right shoulder upward, crunching your abs to meet the knee. Repeat, cycling through each side. Work your way up to 100 repetitions.
Hang In There
Being one of the most challenging and rewarding ab exercises, hanging knee raises work your entire core. With both arms, grip a chin-up bar. Your body should hang with your legs straight. Exhale as you raise both legs, creating a 90-degree angle. Slowly return to the starting position. Work your way up to 20 repetitions.
Roll With It
The rollout challenges your lower tummy area, hip flexors and lats. Kneel on the floor with both hands gripping the ab roller. Pursue a pushup like position, with your knees on the floor and the ab roller under your chest. Inhale as you roll the ab roller forward while stretching your body straight out ensuring not to touch your belly to the floor. Exhale and pull inward to the start position. Work your way up to 30 reps.
Considerations and Safety
To avoid injury, perform each exercise with correct form. The abs are just like other muscle groups and need recovery time. Try to work your abdominals three to four times per week. Talk with your doctor prior to pursuing a new workout routine.