Your abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle in your body. They should be “warmed up” before a full exercise and “cooled down” afterwards. The best way to warm up your abs is to do cardio. Cardio elevates your heart rate, sending more blood and oxygen throughout your body. It also uses your abdominal muscles, which is the perfect warm up for them. Perform 30 to 45 minutes of cardio at the start of your workout for the best ab warm up.
Once you finish your cardio, it is time for ab targeting exercises. As I mentioned, your abs are just like any other muscle in your body. You wouldn’t work your arms or shoulders every day, and you shouldn’t with your abs either. Perform ab exercises 2 – 3 non-consecutive days a week, making sure to target all regions of your abdominal muscles. The bicycle exercise is a great way hit all ab areas.
After you are finished with your main workout you need to cool down – you shouldn’t just go from intense exercising to sitting at your desk. You can cool down in a variety of different ways. Try doing some exercises slowly with light weights, or a easy, quick jog.
This next part is very important – you should always stretch after your finish working out. It increases your flexibility but most importantly it decreases the chance of injury. Take five minutes at the end of your session to perform the basic stretches that we all have learned – it is worth the time.
Also, another important thing to keep in mind is that you need to drink plenty of water, before, during, and after your workout. Keeping your body hydrated is like keeping a machine well-oiled.