Abdominal mats are an inexpensive fitness apparatus that improves the quality of one’s sit-ups and is an ideal tool to use in developing the core muscles.
Abdominal mats, more commonly referred to as ab mats, should be a commonplace sight for anyone who’s ever gone to the gym, or even done some research on good home workouts. Most gyms skimp on stocking up on ab mats because they tend to opt toward the use of strength machines such as the bench press for their core training. Be that as it may, it is undeniable that the ab mat is one of the most versatile, and easy to use fitness apparatus that you can find. Ab mats will give you a rather simple way to make your regular sit-ups do twice as much for your fitness goals.
Ab mats are a common fitness apparatus made of a piece of covered foam and board with a 30 degree sloping arch in it. This arch is specifically designed for your lower back area, and cushions it as it goes down during a sit-up, giving you the boost you need to make the common exercise take a significantly larger amount of effort, thus allowing you to get more out of your time by giving you an increased difficulty on your everyday workout by allowing you to reach your full range of motion in between the reps, which is something that is largely impossible if you are just using the floor without the help of an ab mat.
But the question still remains, how exactly does one use an ab mat? First, unfold your ab mat and place it on the floor. Then, be seated on the ground in a manner that aligns your tailbone to the arch, but remember not to sit on the ab mat itself. Afterwards, lay back and bring your feet together, this makes it so that your abdomen, and not your hips, are forced to move during every single sit-up. Afterwards, feel free to do as many sit-ups as you please.
There are multiple exercises that can be done with a very simple apparatus, depending on their fitness level and experience with workouts using it.
For beginner exercisers, you may place your hands at your hips, then push them through your knees as you take to the rising motion of a sit-up rep. This makes it easier as it will give you significantly less weight to move with your abdomen as you take on the motion.
For those who have a little more experience, you may place your hands at your shoulders. This adds some weight to your sit-ups and allows you to amp up the difficulty level to fit your fitness needs.
For those who exercise regularly and are really looking for an intense workout, you may place your hands behind your head, as this puts the most weight into the upward motion of the sit-ups, allowing you to put maximum pressure on your abdominal muscles.
It will be hard at first, but it will get easier as you get more used to the repetitions. Good luck!