Stretching exercises are great for toning your muscles and improving flexibility. They also increase blood flow, improve posture, reduce back pain, and strengthen the core.
There are several ways to perform abdominal stretches, from simple to advanced. In this article, we’ll show you our favorite methods.
There are many ways to stretch your abs, but these three techniques are some of the easiest and most effective ones. Try them out today!
What Are The Benefits Of Stretching Your Abs?
Stretching is one of those things we do without thinking about it—it’s just something we do. But there are many reasons why it’s important to include some form of stretching into your workout routine.
Here are some benefits you might want to consider.
1. A Stronger Core
Your core includes your abdomen, lower back, hips, pelvis, and glutes. When you don’t stretch your core, you can develop tightness in these areas.
This could lead to injury down the road. If you aren’t working your core enough, you could end up with hip pain, low back pain, leg cramps, or even knee pain.
2. Improved Posture
When you work out regularly, you’re likely to notice how much better your posture feels. You probably know that sitting hunched over your computer screen leads to poor posture, but what happens when you sit slumped over a couch or recliner?
Your body will start to slump too, leading to poor posture.
3. Better Balance
If you spend most of your day sitting, chances are your legs are pretty stiff. When you stand up straight, you’ll realize how unstable you feel.
Standing properly requires good balance; if you’ve been slouching around all day, you won’t be able to maintain proper balance.
4. Increases flexibility
Flexibility exercises are important to keep joints healthy and flexible. Some people think stretching is just about getting loose, but it’s actually much more complicated than that.
Muscles become tight due to overuse, injury, poor form, or simply being out of shape. Tightness causes pain and restricted movement, which leads to further injury.
Why Are My Abs So Tight?
If you’re feeling tightness in your abs, there are a few possible causes. One reason could be that you’ve been working out too much lately.
Another possibility is that you’re experiencing gas pains due to bloating. And finally, it might just mean that you’re having trouble digesting food properly. Whatever the case, here are some ways to loosen up those muscles.
1. Eat Right
One thing that can tighten your abs is eating too much junk food. Some foods like chips, cookies, ice cream, and soda cause bloat.
So try cutting down on sugary treats and snacks high in fat. Instead, eat healthier options like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
2. Drink Water
When you drink water, it helps your body flush away toxins, including waste products and excess fluid. This flushing action can reduce bloating and eliminate uncomfortable feelings in your belly.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Try adding lemon slices to your water to boost its flavor.
When Should You Stretch Your Abs?
Stretching is one of those things we do without thinking about it. We know that our muscles are tight, especially after working out, and we might even stretch because we feel like we’re getting a “good warm-up.”
But what does it actually mean to stretch? And how long should you hold each stretch?
We recommend starting with 10 seconds of holding each stretch. You’ll want to hold each stretch for 20 seconds total and repeat it three times.
If you don’t have access to a yoga mat, you can use a towel or blanket to hold yourself down while you stretch.
Examples Of Ab Stretches
Cobra pose is one of the most popular yoga poses because it targets your entire core. As you practice Cobra pose regularly, your abs will become stronger and tighter. You’ll notice how much better your posture feels.
The Cobra pose works your obliques, lower abdominal, middle and upper back, glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads, and shoulders. Your arms are free to move naturally, allowing you to focus on relaxing into the stretch.
Try doing this pose once a day, three times a week.
1. Seated Side-Straddle Stretch
The seated side-straddle stretches are great for strengthening the core. They’re especially useful for people with low back pain because they help improve flexibility in the spine.
This exercise targets the transverse abdominal muscle, which helps stabilize the spine.
To do it correctly, sit upright on the floor with both feet flat on the ground. Your knees should be slightly wider than hip-width. Extend one arm out straight above your head, palm facing down.
Bend your torso to the left, placing your right hand on the floor next to your right foot. Keep your shoulders parallel to the floor throughout the movement.
Next, raise your upper body off the floor and lean toward the floor with your right shoulder, keeping your back naturally arched.
As you reach the end of the move, keep your chest lifted and your abs engaged. Hold here for 10 seconds. Then return to the starting position and repeat to the opposite side. Do three sets of 12 repetitions each.
2. Cat-Cow Stretch
The Cat-Cow stretch is one of our favorite stretches because it works for multiple muscle groups and improves overall body alignment. This exercise is great for strengthening the core and improving balance. Try it out today!
3. Chest Opener On An Exercise Ball
This stretch helps open up the chest area and promotes better breathing. It also stretches the shoulders, making it a great workout for anyone suffering from tightness in those areas.
While lying on an exercise ball allows the spine to fully extend, it also makes it easier to reach certain parts of the body.
The key here is to keep your eyes focused on the ceiling while stretching out. You want to focus on relaxing your entire body, including your lungs, heart, and abdominal muscles.
While these exercises may seem simple at first glance, they really work wonders when done consistently over time. The best part?
These moves are easy enough that you won’t need any special equipment. All you need is a bit of motivation and dedication. Stretching your abs is as important as stretching any other part of your body before and after workouts.