Abdominal Exercises

There are six abdominal (stomach) exercises for you to perform. When performing the exercises apply the following few guidelines: keep your back flat on the floor, tuck in your stomach and contract your perineum vigorously. Each exercise is to be done slowly, without pulling on the back of your neck and while breathing regularly.

General Information

  • Keep your back on the ground
  • Do not pull on the back of your neck
  • Contract your perineum
  • Breathe regularly
  • Work slowly

Exercise 1

  • Tuck in your stomach
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds

Breathe regularly while performing this exercise.

Exercise 2

  • Keep your heels on the ground
  • Lift both shoulders
  • Look upwards

Put both heels on the floor, then lift both shoulders and lower them slowly. Look up towards the ceiling whilst performing this exercise.

Exercise 3

  • Put both hands behind the back of your neck
  • Put your ankle on your opposite knee
  • Lift one shoulder

Put both hands behind the back of your neck. Lift your shoulder directing the elbow to the opposite knee. 

Slowly lower this shoulder, without resting it on the ground.

Exercise 4

  • Put both heels on the chair
  • Keep your thighs vertical
  • Look upwards

Hold your position for 5 to 10 seconds while tucking in your stomach. 

Breathe regularly while performing this exercise.

Exercise 5

  • Both knees together
  • Put your elbow on your opposite knee

Put both thighs against your chest, cross and raise your legs a little higher than knee level. Then lift one shoulder, placing your elbow on your opposite knee.

Execise 6

  • Both your hands pull on one knee
  • Stretch out your opposite leg

Put both your hands on one knee and pull your thigh against your stomach. Then stretch out your opposite leg keeping your heel on the ground.

Why Work On The Abdominal Muscles?

Working the abdominal (stomach) muscles (the A in JAMES®) is sometimes a painful discovery for those following the programme. But we must be prepared to bend (and unbend!) to feel the benefit, as good abdominal muscles are the allies of your back and your urogenital system. 

Good For Your Back 

Extra weight around your stomach can harm your back by weakening it and forcing it to support a protruding belly. The stomach muscles form a belt or bridge between your pelvis and upper body, and when they are weakened, any sudden movement can cause severe disabling back pain every day. Work your stomach muscles, breathe with your stomach, and you will avoid these accidents.

Good For The Urogenital System

Prostate surgery can damage the system and cause incontinence. Rehabilitation with a physiotherapist can also be supported by your regular abdominal exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. 

Watching the JAMES® exercise video will remind you of the precautions to use: contract the perineum, tuck in your stomach, do not block your breathing and never pull at the back of your neck.

The pelvic area and perineum strengthening exercises can be done nonchalantly while you are sitting. Do it by reflex, contract that area (the so-called ‘stop-pee’) repeatedly for a minute, several times a day.

Stay Hydrated

During your exercise sessions, it is recommended that you drink regularly, every 15 or 20 minutes, in small sips. While a walk of one hour does not, theoretically, need hydration, it depends on the heat, walking pace, and most importantly, how thirsty you feel. 

Drink something to avoid the unpleasant feeling of being dehydrated: those who like their comfort can choose a shoulder-slung bottle or a belt fitted with a sleeve, very popular with runners and mountain bikers. For long trips, there is the camel bag, a rucksack with a water pocket and a tube to allow you to drink without stopping.

Tap Or Bottled Water?

A small bottle of water always at hand, is always a good idea, especially when the temperature rises. Preferences between tap water and mineral water are a matter of taste and there are few who can ‘blindly’ distinguish between the two. You may prefer a particular mineral water. For your bone health, focus on waters rich in bicarbonates and calcium. Vary them from time to time, to take advantage of their specific benefits. 

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