The front abdominal area is typically overlooked in stretching. We get the side abs, but you do not see much stretching of the front. I enjoy stretching it to release tension and help posture. It also is a good way to unwind after a challenging workout. I feel like these stretches build the six pack more, but that could be wrong and wishful thinking.
The front abs tend to hold muscular stress particularly just below the ribs. Over the gallbladder and spleen can get overly tight. You may even notice popping of the ribs if you have extra stress here. Thankfully, the middle is a quick and easy area to stretch. Try these at least once per week to improve your posture and balance.
At the gym, you should be able to find these giant exercise balls. Using the arm of a comfy sofa can work as a replacement.
Try different arm positions. Sometimes just having your arms out to the side can feel better than the overhead backbend stretch.
Take as much time as feels good.
Start from a relaxed lying position or low pushup. Press into your hands lifting your chest and shoulders. Roll your shoulders back. You should be able to breathe deep. Feel your entire ribs expand. Hold for 2 deep breaths. Relax and repeat once more.
In the yoga pose version of this, you would be on the tops of your feet not toes. Do not worry about form only about which feels easier for stretching the abs.
Chill in child’s pose after if you desire.