Easy Abdominal Exercises for Overweight People

The abdominal muscles are often difficult to train because unlike the legs and arms, the abdominals are not regularly activated in everyday activities. So, they’re especially weak in people who are overweight. However, it is not impossible to train the abdominals of overweight people. Start with modified and low-resistance abdominal exercises.


The plank exercise is especially good for the overweight because it works the core muscles and only requires holding a position. To begin, assume the position of a pushup. Then bend the arms to form 90-degree angles, and rest the forearms on the floor. Keep a flat back while making sure the hips are lifted off the floor. This is plank position. Try to hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute. But if this is not possible, take a quick break by resting one knee on the floor.

Bicycle Crunch

Performing a repetitive up-and-down motion with raised legs is actually an effective abdominal exercise. As it turns out, this motion -- the bicycle crunch --is essentially like marching in place while lying on the back. It’s effective for the overweight because it doesn't require lifting the torso. The legs do all the work. To perform the motion, lie on your back, lift the legs in the air and then bend the knees to form 90-degree angles. Then, slowly bring one knee towards the chest while straightening the other leg. Then, bring the extended leg towards the chest and straighten the bent leg. Continue for several repetitions.

Modified Crunch

The basic crunch is also recommended because it has a limited range of motion, puts little strain on the back and can be modified. For example, instead of bending the knees and holding them in the air -- as with an unmodified crunch -- the knees can be bent and rested on an exercise ball. This makes elevating the legs easier for someone who may have trouble doing so. It also promotes proper alignment. Simply make sure that the back of the legs are in contact with the ball. Also, other tools, such as the ab roller, can help modify the crunch motion, because they make the roll-up process easier.

Exercise Ball Rotation

Many overweight people have lower back pain since often they have weak stomach muscles. The exercise ball rotation can help to stretch those lower back muscles while strengthening the obliques. To begin, sit on the ball. Then, lie down and move to slowly roll the ball so that the head and shoulders extend from the ball. The knees should be bent and placed shoulder-width apart. Next, hold the arms out in front of you. Then, lift your torso and twist to the right, while making sure to engage the abs. Hold for five seconds. Then, repeat the process on the left side.