This is a very safe and effective exercise for conditioning the rectus abdominis. If you are inflexible in your shoulder area, you can modify by placing your hands across your chest.
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor. Focus your eyes upward along an imaginary line from your toes to the ceiling. Place hands behind head to support head and neck. Keep head and neck aligned with spine and keep lower back on the floor. Do not flex at the neck.
Contract abdominals and lift upper body, exhaling on exertion. Try to press your belly button toward your spine. Always move in a slow and controlled fashion. Don't rush through the exercise using momentum or poor form. Repeat for 8 times and progress to 3 sets of 8 times.
For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:
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