According to Boston-based strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle, who has worked with athletes ranging from national collegiate champions to Hollywood celebrities, the key to safe abdominal exercises is minimizing flexion.
Instead, Boyle recommends doing planks, which require holding a static position on your elbows:
- On the floor, get into a position where you're on your toes and on your elbows, as if you're going to do a push-up from your elbows.
- Simply hold that position.
- Start with 10 seconds, and then gradually increase duration, being mindful of maintaining good form (primarily a straight back and straight legs).
To work your obliques, do a side plank. Start on your right side, on your right elbow, with your feet on the ground, holding steady, keeping the spine straight. Then switch to the left side.
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