Pelvic stability exercises for abs
Exercises which focus on holding the pelvis stable work the muscles that give you flat abs. Examples are stability ball and balance board exercises, most Pilates exercises, plank holds and barre workouts. These muscles are often quite weak, even in people who exercise a lot. If they are weak, then training needs to start with the basics of finding “neutral” pelvis. Trying to do advanced core strengthening exercises isn’t a good idea for beginners, because it could cause low back injury. See Core Exercises for Beginners to find out more about this.
Dynamic exercises for abs
This sort of ab exercise is used more in fitness programs. Examples are crunches and all their variations, side bends, upper body rotations and Russian twists. This type of exercise isn’t likely to give you flat abs, however there are several reasons why dynamic exercises are more popular:
- They are more straightforward, simple exercises. Doing pelvic stability exercises for abs effectively requires an understanding of pelvic alignment. It also requires focus and concentration.
- People tend to like to train muscles that show. Dynamic abs exercises work the “6-pack” muscles.
- They are generally more energetic than stabilising exercises, so it feels like they’re “doing something”, whereas training the deepest muscle layer can feel less like a proper workout.
Which exercises should you choose?
If you want good ab tone, then you need to do a variety of abs exercises:
- Crunch type exercises which to the top layer (the “6-pack”)
- Side bending and twisting exercises to work the middle 2 layers (the obliques)
- Pelvic stabilising exercises to work the deepest layer (the transverse muscle)
Exercises for abs round up
Here’s a list of workouts to get you started. All of them have full instructions and printable exercise charts.
Core Exercises for Beginners is an introduction to working the muscles that stabilise the pelvis and pull the abs in flat.
A 30 day challenge that focuses on the 6-pack muscles. It’s a very simple workout, since it only uses 2 exercises. The number of reps increases each day to gradually build the muscles up.
This is a step by step guide to developing the strength and flexibility to do the Pilates roll up exercise. The roll up works the 6 pack muscles, but also works the core stabilisers, as they control movement through the spine.
There are exercises for all the different abs layers in this circuit, so it will give you a good all-round abs workout.
This plank workout mainly works the core stabilisers, but the side plank also works the oblique muscles
A mini introduction to Pilates, with exercises that are suitable for beginners. Between them, the 4 exercises work all the ab muscles.
Or for a complete guide to beginners ab training, see this item in my Etsy shop:
This set of booklets covers all aspects of ab training. It includes dynamic and stabilising exercises for abs, as well as spinal flexibility exercises. (Loosening up the spine helps with achieving good pelvic alignment.) The set comes with workout charts for easy reference and a progress log so that you can keep track of all your workouts.