Traditional Ab Crunch

I remember when I was a kid, my mum would make an effort every so often do go to a fitness class, where they would do a bunch of the old-fashioned sit ups to help get a flat tummy. Often, as a pre-teen I'd join her. Back then, as I recall you would lie on your back with your legs together, straight out, and put your hands together behind your head. Half the time you would pull your head up with your hands, rather than use your stomach muscles to pull your body up to a sitting position. PLUS, I remember it was hard on the lower back.

Here's a more modern version of the traditional ab crunch:

1. Lie on your back.
2. Bend your knees.
3. Put your hands at the SIDES of your head - over your ears.
4. Tighten your tummy muscles and ensure your lower back is against the floor - ie no gap/space between your back and the floor.
5. Find a spot directly above on the ceiling and focus on it.
6. Keeping your ab muscles contracted, raise up your shoulders while keeping your head and chin straight feeling your belly tighten as you do it. Don't pull in your chin to your chest.
7. As you lift your shoulders, let your breath out.
8. Hold the position for two or three seconds and then lower your shoulder blades down slowly, keeping your stomach muscles tightened, and breathing in.

9. Try again!

When you first start doing your tummy exercises, you may not be able to do that many. Don't lose heart! Remember, some are better than none. Do as many as you can without making your tummy so sore that you are put off. The next day try to add a few more, and so on. The more you try, the easier it will become.