Easy Way To Strengthen Your Stomach Muscles

Here’s an easy way to strengthen your abdominal muscles.

I learned this from a physical therapist.  The easiest way to strengthen your abdominals is not to do crunches or sit ups.

I don’t like crunches or sit ups for a few different reasons and sometimes they can actually cause back pain.

The easiest way is to simply pull in your stomach!

And did you know that you can pull in the lower abdominals or the upper abdominals?  Or all of your stomach muscles?

And if you pay attention, you can even contract the muscles that run on the sides of your belly.

You see, you have layers of muscle that run lengthwise, sideways and also cross-ways on your abdomen.

If you have forgotten how to pull or suck in your belly, the easiest way to remember is to lay on your back.  That way gravity can help a bit.  And then just “pull” or move your tummy toward your spine.

You might even feel the muscles getting tired from this simple movement.  That’s okay.

Muscles like to move!   That’s their job.

And since you want muscles that are both long and strong, while you are holding in your stomach muscles, stretch.  Lift your arms over your head or lift your breastbone.

This will help make your abdominal muscles long and strong.  Long, strong stomach muscles will help you look better and feel better, too.

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7 Replies to “Easy Way To Strengthen Your Stomach Muscles”

  1. I was very impressed with the help you
    received for your scoliosis of your spine!
    You were so fortunate to find Paul St.John
    to give you such expert treatment for
    this problem! Unfortunately, I do not
    live in Florida so it is too difficult for me
    to access his help.
    I would be so grateful if you could ask
    him if he could recommend the same
    type of therapist living in Toronto,
    Ontario, Canada for me to receive help
    also!!
    I was also very glad to know about your
    excercises for stomach muscules,
    abdominals and upper back, etc.
    Thank you so much for giving such great
    advice and information!!
    Frances Rotstein
    frances.rotstein@sympatico.ca

    1. Hi Frances,

      Paul is a remarkable therapist! I believe there is a referral list of Paul’s students and that you can get referrals for therapists who have taken his training by contacting his clinic. The address is http://StJohn-Clarkptc.com

      You are very welcome for the information. There are more articles (3, as of now) about scoliosis at http://SimpleBackPainRelief.com Just scroll down the list of articles on the right hand side. You will see ‘scoliosis’ in the titles.

      Bodies are so logical! If a muscle is short and tight on one side, it must be doing the opposite thing on the other side of the body. Knowing how to assess the posture of a body and determine which muscles need treatment is wonderful therapy. St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy or his Somatic therapy is a phenomenal pain relief tool.

      When I flew to Florida to be treated by Paul, he agreed to do several treatments in a week instead of spreading them out as he would do with a local client.

      If you have a problem getting a referral, please let me know.

      Wishing you the best,
      Kathryn
      The Pain Relief Coach

  2. Kathryn,

    I am in the national guard and we are required to do the old school sit ups. which are not as easy the older we get. i have about 2 months until our physical test. sit ups dont come easy for me as they use to. and when i do them, i can clearly tell that one side of my stomach is stronger then the other, and i do not sit up straight while doing them, i one side tends to pull me up. any advice, to get in shape and strengthen for the sit up that I am required to do? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marni,

      Thank you for serving us. You are appreciated!

      Here are my best long distance thoughts:

      1. Sounds like you may have a curvature in your trunk. This can be from your structure or from habits (like always sitting in the same corner of the sofa all curled up.) Look in the mirror and see if you can tell whether one shoulder or hip is higher than the other. If it’s your shoulder, stretching the short side (the lower shoulder) will help balance things. Of course, stretching is good for both sides. The ratio of low shoulder side is 4x more than the higher shoulder.

      If it’s your hip that looks low, it may be that you have a short leg. The side-bending stretches will still help.

      2. If you have access to a body of water or a pool, try the situps in the shallow water. All movement seems much easier in the water and doing this for a few weeks can give you a head start on the ‘real’ sit ups. Note: I haven’t tried this but do many other exercises in water.

      3. Make those stomach muscles work by sucking them in toward your spine! You can do this any time of day or night, sitting or standing. Try to make your belly button touch your spine and hold it.

      4. Do reverse situps to strengthen your lower abs without straining your back or neck. That will also give you a head start.

      5. Hang onto a jungle gym or monkey bars and use your stomach muscles to lift your legs forward or knees to chest. Hold in your belly when you do this.

      I hope these suggestions help you do those situps more easily. It’s good to have long, strong muscles so after you contract your abs take a few minutes to lengthen them (stretch them.)

      Warmest,
      Kathryn
      The Pain Relief Coach

  3. thank you, i will try that, that, but without water.. you are correct, where i typically lay on my couch always in the same position, esp. while on my computer… for sure,, same position for long periods of time.. i also am a waitress and carry trays with my same arm ect… do you think that also, with doing the laying on the back crunches helps to get ready, then actually doing the full old school style sit ups? when it comes down to testing time?

    thanks again,

  4. and yes, one last thing, i did look in the mirror and it seems that perhaps my right should is slightly lower,, i am always laying on my left side, on the couch and on the computer.. and carry trays with my left arm, even though i am right handed.. i will try to sleep on my other side tonight.. but anyother advise is greatly helpful.. and also, to train for old school sits, it that what you have to do, or are crunches better until the time of the test? thanks again!

    1. Hi Marni, Strong abs will go a long way in helping you with the situps and all of the “less uncomfortable” ways are most likely superior but since you have to do the old-fashioned ones, I would suggest that you start building on those now, too. I’m going to refer you to my friend muscle expert. He says he’s “just a guy who likes to lift heavy things” but he’s a very smart guy. I’m going to contact Eric Troy at Ground Up Strength http://gustrength.com and give him your question and ask him to email you. I would rather you have the best information than my best guess. (Especially since I don’t like situps.)

      Kathryn
      The Pain Relief Coach

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