Strong abdominal muscles help make your outdoor activities more enjoyable. Strong and well-toned core muscles are important in a wide range of outdoor activities, like backpacking, climbing, bicycling and more. They provide stability to the rest of your body and allow the other portions of your musculature to operate at peak efficiency. Strengthening your abdominal muscles doesn't require a gym full of gear--just some devotion of time and simple equipment will get you on the right path.
Stretch out on the floor, face up, with your knees up and your hands behind your head. Simultaneously bring your knees in towards your chest while lifting your shoulder blades off the ground. Try not to lift by pulling with your neck--lift from the back. Straighten your right leg out while turning the upper body to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee. Repeat, straightening out your left leg and turning the upper body to the right. Continue alternating sides for 10 to 15 repetitions.
Exercise Ball Abdominal Crunches
Lie back onto an exercise ball with your face up and the ball under your lower back. Place your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and contract your abdominal muscles to lift your torso off the ball--keep the ball as stable as possible while performing the motion. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Exercise Ball Planks
Lie face down on an exercise ball, with your toes on the floor and the ball under your hips. Place your hands behind your head and raise your body so that your back is in a straight line with your legs. Lower slowly and repeat 10 to15 times.
Lie face down on the floor, resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push up so that you're on your toes and elbows, keeping your back flat. Hold the position for 15 seconds, then lower to the ground. Repeat for four to six reps, and gradually lengthen the amount of time you're staying in the plank position.