Physiowarzish
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Abdominal stretches

The abdominal stretches are designed to improve the flexibility of the abdominal muscles namely the Rectus Abdominis, Internal Oblique, External Oblique and Transversus Abdominis. Good abdominal flexibility allows for the unrestricted and pain free movement of the stomach, abdominals and lower back.

It is a general belief that having tight abdominal muscles improves your overall appearance however in reality tight abdominal muscles can have very negative effects on your body.

Firstly, tight abdominals are one of the major causes of lower-back pain. When tight, abdominal muscles pull up on the pubic bones and tilt the top of the pelvis backward. Over time the upper-back muscles weaken and over lengthen, leading to flattening of the lumbar curve which in turn increases the pressure on the lumbar joints and discs.


The constant stretch and compression of the discs may result in chronic pain. In addition to this when these muscles are tight, the volume of the abdominal and pelvic cavities is reduced which compresses the organs in these cavities and forces them up toward the thoracic cavity, which in turn reduces its volume.

As a result, breathing, digestion, elimination, and sexual function are hindered from functioning properly. Finally, exercising with tight abdominals may lead to strains, tears, and even hernias.

 
abdominal stretch
abdominal stretch
 

Mild abdominal stretch in kneeling position

  • Keep your hands in on your back as shown, arch back until stretch is felt.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and release slowly,
  • Repeat the stretch for 8-10 times.

 
Rectus Abdominis Stretch
Rectus Abdominis Stretch
 

Rectus Abdominis Stretch

  • Begin this abdominal stretch lying on your stomach with your hands in the press up position as shown.
  • Gently straighten your elbows and push the upper torso back with arms until stretch is felt.
  • Tilt head as far back as possible.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and release slowly

 
Bow Stretch
Bow Stretch
 

Bow Stretch for abdominals

  • Grab both feet below ankles with your hands as shown.
  • Gently arch back and pull feet toward head until stretch is felt.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and release slowly

 
Oblique abdominals stretch in sitting
Oblique abdominals stretch in sitting
 

Oblique abdominals stretch in sitting

  • Sit on a chair.
  • Turns toward back of chair.
  • Grasp chair and gently pull trunk further.
  • Hold, and return to start position and repeat.