Do you want a six-pack? Are you getting ready for swimsuit season? You already have the perfect butt but need to work on your abs? What ab exercises do you do? Sit-ups, crunches, or a few reps on a machine at the gym. To really workout your abdomen, you need to train your external, and internal, abdominal obliques. You also need to train your transverse abdominis, and, rectus abdominis (six-pack). There are four different muscle groups, that stabilize us, help us walk, and, do a lot more, than, simply hold our stomachs in.
Having a strong core helps us with our posture, mobility and, yes, gives us an eye-catching, sexy, midriff. Men and women have the same muscle groups, but, different physiques. Women have a wider pelvis and a longer waist. What does this mean, for getting strong abs?
Well, nothing, except that it can be a little more challenging for women to have flat abs. Men also have more upper body strength. What does this mean, for ab workouts? Well, it means that some exercises may not be suitable for you if you don’t have enough upper body strength.
Here are 5 of the best exercises for your abs:
1. Abs King: The Plank
This is similar to a push-up, but you keep still, holding your body level using your core muscles. This is one of the most effective abdominal workouts as you work your entire core, the front, and the back.
Your forearms and feet are on the ground. To ratchet this classic move up a few notches you can raise an arm, or opposite arm and leg. Hold the pose for as long as you can, rest, repeat. If you’re up for a challenge, Men’s Health recommends: The Spider-Man. Bring, alternatively, your right, then left knee, up to each elbow.
2. Bicycle Crunches
Yes, this is a powerhouse, ab- crunching, and strengthening, exercise. It is reported to be nearly 200% more stimulating than a regular crunch.
You extend your legs, and cycle in the air, while bringing up your arms, to reach along your body, touching the opposite knee. Focus. Sweat. Keep going. You Can Do It. Again.
3. Vertical Chair Knee Lift
You may have seen this astonishingly simple piece of gym equipment. You stand, arms positioned onto the equipment, with your elbows bent. Raise your knees as high as you can, aiming for waist level. Your shoulders need to be right back and back straight. You are not using your hip flexor muscles here, but, training your core.
Please remember that this exercise requires significant upper body strength, to hold your weight, and use your abs to lift your legs. It’s not for beginners, or for anyone who is overweight. Sculpt your abs, but, be safe!
4. Reverse Crunches on A Ball
Start with your body on the ball, then walk out until your legs are resting on the ball. Your arms will be supporting your weight, similar to your position in The Plank. Then, walk the ball back in, using your legs, and, then, back out, again.
This exercise targets your core, and develops your abs, but, please remember, it’s not for beginners. You are curling your body up, and crunching those abs, as well as, keeping your balance. Well done!
5. Side Plank
Turn the plank on its side, and engage your obliques, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. You will need to rest one foot on the other, or one foot, just in front of the other. Your body needs to stay in a straight line, your core helping to hold your weight, not your arms and feet. Hold.
Lower yourself to the ground. Switch sides. Repeat. This is a very challenging exercise, but, hold for as long as you can. The more you train, the stronger your core will grow.
These are some of the best ab workouts you can do. Exercise, and diet, will help shape your body, but targeted ab exercises will help sculpt your physique.
There are many ab classes, and specialized pieces of equipment, that you can use at gyms, but, simply using your own body strength, and a combination of these 5 exercises will give you superstrong, and well defined, abs.