How To Do The Bicycle Maneuver - The Best Abdominal Exercise



The Bicycle Maneuver is the same exercise as the Pilates Criss Cross. It has been determined by the American Council on Exercise to be the best of the ab exercises, and is an excellent way to develop a flat stomach.

Benefits

This exercise incorporates both trunk flexion and rotation which strengthens the following muscles:

  • External abdominal oblique
  • Internal abdominal oblique
  • Rectus abdominis
  • And the transversus abdominis

These muscles allow you to bend and twist you trunk. Strengthening these muscles will

  • Help you keep your back well aligned
  • Provide support for your abdomen
  • Help you rise from a sitting or lying position

In addition, you improve your physical appearance.

Pros

It is scientifically determined to be the best abdominal workout. It is the best ab exercise because it involves both the compression of the abdominopelvic cavity and the rotation of the vertebral column.

Best of all, this exercise requires no equipment.

Con

It is a difficult workout to do. However, the health benefits make it worth the effort to perform this workout properly and often.

Tips

You can place your hands centered behind your head with your fingers lightly interlaced. However, if you have a tendency to lift your torso with your arms and hands, you should place your hands just behind your ears rather than behind your head. This will encourage you to lift yourself with your abdominal muscles rather than with your arms.

Also, you may have a tendency to cheat by moving your knee closer to your rising torso to decrease the distance that you need to lift yourself. Concentrate on keeping your thigh at a 90 degree angle to the floor as you lift to touch your knee with your elbow.

How To Do The Bicycle Maneuver

  1. Lie flat on a Pilates or Exercise Mat with your lower back pressed to the mat
  2. Put your hands beside your head and over your ears
  3. Raise your knees to form a 90 degree angle with vertical thighs and horizontal shins
  4. Extend your right leg out with your leg about 30 to 45 degrees above the floor
  5. Keep your left thigh vertical and your left shin horizontal
  6. Raise your shoulders off the mat with your abdominal muscles and rotate to touch your left knee with your right elbow

  7. Switch legs and rotate in the opposite direction to touch your right knee with your left elbow

  8. Keep even, relaxed breathing throughout the workout
  9. Continue until your muscles are fatigued

How To Do The Bicycle Maneuver Exercise Video

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