Abdominal exercises are a great way to build muscle on your torso, lower body fat, and promote a healthier body through increased digestion. But before you even hit the mat, it’s important to ask yourself why you are working on your abdominals. Is it because you want a great body? Is it to strengthen your core? Is it to look good in a bikini? Or improve on your overall health? It’s normal to want to look good – it naturally leads to feeling good – but what you may not understand is that abs require a low body mass index (BMI). In other words, you can’t expect to sport washboard abs while carrying extra fat. You’ll gain muscle, but to have that visible six-pack, a lean body is necessary. To get you on your way to six-pack glory, here are five of the best ab exercises to try for optimal results.
Lie on your back with legs straight and toes pointed. Hold your arms above your head or to your side (if you are a beginner, you can put them under your glutes to stabilize your back). Lift your heels about 6 inches from the ground and rapidly kick your feet up and down in a scissor-like motion. Be sure to breathe continuously; do not hold your breath.
Lie on the floor holding a weight at your chest. Bend your knees 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor. Hold your chin against your chest and sit up all the way. Breathe out while sitting up.
You will need something to rest on, a dipping bar, and to get into the position of a dip with your arms locked out. Your torso should be hunched over and you will lean forward, using your abs to push your upper body forward. You should feel like you are sucking your stomach, and your hips will come up. Be sure that you’re not using your arms, but your abs. Hold hard for a few seconds and then bring your hips back down and your upper body straight again.
The plank is a fantastic exercise, not just for your abs but your overall strength. The plank helps to build core strength and is good for all levels of fitness. Simply go into a pushup form, with your abs pulled in tight and your feet shoulder width apart. Be sure to not let your back sag down, but hold your butt tight and in-line with your shoulders. Simply hold this position for a minute. To make this harder, you can rotate to the side, using only one arm to balance. You can also balance on one foot or use a stability ball under your arms.
Using an abdominal wheel or a stability ball, simply start on your knees and roll forward as far as you can, keeping form (same as the plank). For the more advanced, start in plank position and roll up into downward dog. This exercise is very difficult and will leave you very sore, so don’t overdo it. Start with little repetitions, 6-8, and increase as your stomach gets stronger.
The Core of Your Fitness Regime
It’s good to remember that, like all exercise, your six-pack abdominals require strong determination and exercise consistency. To achieve great results, you will need to incorporate healthy eating habits and cardio exercise as well as the ab exercises provided here. It will definitely take time: don’t be misled that you will have supermodel abs in just a few weeks. What counts are the exercises and the benefits they have on your body, your mind, and your health.