Typically, it is important to perform abdominal stretches before exercising to increase flexibility and prevent injuries to the body’s core. There are six abdominal muscles in the human body; their function is to support the core and aid in breathing by helping push air out of the lungs. Generally, there are several types of abdominal stretches.
One type of abdominal stretch is the simple ab stretch. It is performed by lying on the back with arms flat on the floor straight above the head, and legs straight out and flat on the floor. Lying in this position, the back is arched and the position is held for ten seconds.
Another type of abdominal stretch is the standing ab stretch. It is performed by standing straight with the feet shoulder width apart and raising both hands slowly in front of the body until they are above the head. Once the hands are above the head, the upper body is bent back at the waist as far as comfortable. This posture is held for ten seconds.
A kneeling stretch is one of the abdominal stretches that can also be used to stretch the abdominals. To perform an animal stretch, the performer gets on his or her hands and knees with hands on the floor in front of the body. Knees should be shoulder width apart and hands should be a little more than shoulder width apart. The hands are slowly walked away from the body, while at the same time the hips are lowered and the legs extended.
Once the legs are fully extended, the arms are used to push the body up while the back is arched and the head is allowed to fall toward the floor. The hips are then raised so that the back is round. Once in this position, the performer continues to walk the hands in front of the body as far as possible.
The lying stretch is a simple and effective abdominal stretch. A lying stretch is performed by lying flat on the stomach and using the muscles of the forearms to lift the body. The arms should be bent at the elbows to a 90-degree angle. Then, the head is then raised up so that the eyes are looking toward the sky, and the position is held for a few seconds.
Generally, the side stretch is slightly different than other types of abdominal stretches. This stretch targets the oblique abdominal muscles. A side stretch is performed by standing straight with the feet shoulder width apart and the left hand is held over the head. The body is leaned to the right, bending at the hip. After this, the right arm is reached over the head, with the body bending at the hip and leaning to the left.