First things first and THIS, in my opinion. is the single most important thing you have to remember (obviously, 'paying the mortgage' is up there too, but this is about exercise):
HOLD YOUR STOMACH IN!!!
Make it a mantra for yourself... you can start off well, and within 30 seconds you forget. That's ok, but if you can keep your mind focussed on remembering to do it as often as possible, then this goes automatically some way to toning your stomach muscles. It's not just the stomach muscles this one simple act affects:
1. Hold your stomach in, and your posture immediately improves. Your back will be straighter, you will remain tall and you will walk with less of a slouch, automatically.
2. With good posture, comes a more confident demeanor AND a better 'feel good about yourself' attitude. This works sitting or standing. Remain tall, stomach in, and you will feel better, mentally, about yourself, immediately.
3. The more you remember to HOLD YOUR STOMACH IN! the more you will train your own mind and body to do this without even thinking about it. Stand straight and tall and you already start look like a person who has confidence in themselves. In this day and age, when dealing with a multitude of situations, that is actually quite an important image to portray!!. (You will be surprised how far a good posture, a confident demeanor and a strong handshake will get you!!)
4. Holding your stomach in helps your physical well being. This is all about posture. As we age, gravity takes on a whole new meaning. It doesn't just pull out flabby bits down, our skin down, it, of course, affects your skeleton. The worse posture you have, the more your skeleton is weakened. The better posture you have throughout your life, the less chance there is that you will be walking around looking at your shoes by the time you reach 60! - The spine actually does move forward from around the age of 40 due to shrinkage of the disks between the vertebrae - sorry, nothing I can do about the shrinkage - but remembering what I say about good posture will help alleviate the need to look at your shoes when going out to pick up your pension!
To begin with, and you probably already know, if you are going to exercise any muscles, you really do need to warn (and warM) them first! These exercises really are no different, and I don't want to be sued by someone saying that my technique hurt them!!! (See disclaimer below! - Well..... coming soon !!!)