Situps and crunches are some of the fundamental abs workouts, and once you get a hold on them, it becomes stale and boring. If you are looking to up the tempo and want more challenging exercises, then try the windshield wipers exercise. It needs more core strength and uses the obliques, and can give more definition to your abs. The best part is that it can be part of your home workout plan and needs no special equipment to do.
What is a Windshield Wiper Ab Exercise?
A windshield wipers exercise is also called a lying windshield wipers exercise and is a workout that targets the core. It is a bodyweight exercise, and when done properly, it looks like a wiper on the car with your legs being the windshield. The most basic version of this exercise is done by lying on the floor and moving both the legs together side to side without the legs making contact with the ground. If the proper form is obtained, the motion of the legs back and forth looks like a car’s wipers. If you are looking for a more challenging version, try windshield wipers exercise hanging. Practice windshield wiper ab exercise with the help of a pull-up bar.
What Are the Benefits of Windshield Wipers Exercise?
There are many advantages of adding this exercise into your exercise routine. Some of the useful windshield wiper exercise benefits are:
- Improves muscle strength: It is considered a resistance training form that can strengthen the core muscles, the back and the leg muscles. Whether you are doing a hanging windshield wipers workout or the basic version, if done slowly, it gives a great stretch to the muscles.
- Aids in weight loss: Performing windshield wipers exercise needs lots of energy, especially if doing hanging windshield wipers workouts. This means that it leads to more weight loss as it burns more calories.
- Puts you in a better mood: Like other exercises, a windshield wipers workout releases feel-good hormones that improve the mood.
- Better sleep quality: Windshield wipers exercise improves the duration and quality of sleep, which offers other benefits for overall health.
- Prevents back pain: One of the major windshield wiper exercise benefits is that it strengthens the core. It also prevents or reduces back pain and can be part of the back workout routine.
- Better balance and coordination: This exercise boosts balance and coordination, which is an important aspect of everyday activities.
- Can be done anywhere: This is an exercise that can be done at home using body weight. It does not need any fancy equipment or a gym. However, if you want an arm workout, hanging windshield wipers workout can be done using a pull-up bar or other such hanging props.
What Are Steps Involved in Windshield Wiper Exercise?
- Start the windshield wipers ab workout by lying on your back on the floor. Place your arms by the sides and the palms facing downwards. The spine should be in a neutral position and the ribs down. The chin should be tucked in towards the body.
- Keep the core engaged and slowly lift both feet off the floor in this position. The knees should be brought towards the chest. The legs should be at 90 degrees to the floor and press both the legs to have stability in the lower body.
- Engage the upper body with a neutral spine slowly lower both legs to one side of the body until it is almost in contact with the floor.
- Pause for a few breaths and now slowly move to the other side.
- Continue this exercise for the required number of repetitions, ensuring that the core is engaged.
How to do Windshield Wipers Exercise Hanging?
To do a hanging windshield wipers workout, here are the steps:
- Hang from a pull-up bar using the lats to pull down. Do not hang on the arm sockets but engage your shoulders by shortening the armpits.
- Engage your abs by squeezing them and bringing the toes up near the bar.
- Now using the obliques, slowly move both the legs to and fro, keeping them together. Ensure that you lower just enough without twisting the hips.
Repetitions and Sets
Start the windshield wipers exercise only after you have enough core strength. Perform leg raises, bicycle crunches, and other such abs workouts before going ahead with this exercise. Once you have enough core strength, start with 6 to 8 reps and then increase the number of sets and reps. To make it more challenging, you can add weights to your legs.
Mistakes to Avoid While Doing Windshield Wipers Exercise
Many people make the mistake of relying on the legs for momentum instead of using the core strength. By doing so, you can end up with hip or back pain as there is too much reliance on the hips. Remember that this is a core workout, and it should challenge the core and not the other muscle groups. This not only causes pain but also does not provide the desired benefits. Follow the below steps to prevent injury:
- When moving the legs to and fro, squeeze the core. If you feel that you are using your legs, stop or slow down.
- Suppose you feel lower back pain stop as you are not doing it right. Try a modified version of bent knees to prevent any injury.
- If you feel fatigued in the hips or legs, you are not squeezing the core. Pull the navel towards the spine and restart the exercise.
To see more progress and improve body strength, it is essential to incorporate warmups, proper nutrition, and adequate rest. Since the results are also based on how quickly you recover from the windshield wipers ab workout, rest for at least 1 day before working out the same muscle group.
There are many benefits that people can get by adding windshield wipers exercise to their workout, provided it is done using the right technique. You will need to make the basic version more challenging to see progress and results. Remember that this exercise can be hard on the shoulders, back, hips, and neck, so do strengthening exercises if any of these parts are weak. Also, bear in mind that consistency is the key. If you find it hard at first, with practice, you get better. So go on and challenge yourself doing the windshield wipers exercise.
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