Everyone wants a lean and sculpted midsection. Not only does a firm and narrow waistline convey physical strength and fitness, but it also encourages good posture, communicates confidence and projects the rewards of healthy habits.
People spend tons of money on gadgets and lots of time targeting their tummies, yet very few achieve the look they desire. Why is that so? Well, usually, it is because they hang their hopes on shortcuts. To develop fantastic abs, you need to train them like any other muscle group — with consistency, intensity and strict form. You must also feed your body with optimal nutrition and supplementation. Everyone has a six-pack in them; the trick is melting enough fat off to reveal it.
While lowering your body fat will have the most dramatic effect on your midsection, proper training will strengthen and tone your abs so that when they are finally unveiled, they will be a work of art. Simple exercises are the most effective and correct form is essential. As always, the intensity is paramount.
At the top of each rep, force the air out of your lungs, squeeze your abs as hard as you can and hold the contraction for at least one second. Then, lower yourself slowly back to the starting position. maintain tension on your abs at all times and remember that the “negative” motion of each exercise is at least as important as the “positive” part.
If you want good results, you are going to have to work hard for them. Just like any other muscles, you must work your abs to momentary failure. Fight through the burn and let that burning be a signal that the most important part of your workout is just beginning. When your abs are screaming for you to quit, refocus, reply to them with a thunderous “I can’t hear you!” and blast them even more! Then feed, rest your body and allow your muscles to recover before going at them again.
Are you all set? Let’s go get those washboard abs!
Nothing beats floor exercises for developing firm, muscular abs. All you need is a little floor space. The key to this exercise, as with all ab exercises, is to pull with your abdominal muscles and not with your shoulders or back. To get into the starting position, lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. If you are resting your feet on a bench, place them 3 to 4 inches apart and point your toes inward so that they touch. Place your hands lightly on either side of your ears and keep your elbows tucked in.
Now you are ready to execute some floor crunches. Push the small of your back down into the floor to isolate your ab muscles. Begin to roll your shoulders up, keeping your knees and hips stationary and contracting your abs to lift your shoulders off the floor. Focus on slow and controlled movements — do not cheat yourself by using momentum. Additionally, do not lock our fingers behind your neck and pull. This takes the focus off your abs and also strains your neck. Always keep your hands at the sides of your head when performing this particular exercise.
This exercise will help you define the muscles on the sides of your abdomen, also known as your oblique. To begin, lie flat on your back with your knees bent (placing your feet flat on the floor or resting on a bench). Place your right hand over your right ear.
Next, roll your upper body up to the left until your right elbow touches your left knee. Concentrate on tensing the sides of your waist and holding the contraction throughout the movement. Slowly lower to the starting position. after completing a full set of reps on your right side, switch to your left and follow the same set of instructions.
This is a terrific exercise for developing your lower and middle abdominal muscles. As the name implies, you will need a decline bench that allows you to hook your feet. Once you find yourself a vacant decline bench, position yourself on it with your feet locked in. your upper body should be raised off the bench, so you will have to contract your abs just to stay in place. Place your hands on each side of your head and over your ears. Bear in mind not to lock your fingers.
Raise your upper body slowly while you contract your abs. Crunch up until your elbows are on either side of your thighs. Hold and flex, then lower your body slowly back to the starting position. When your strength increases and you can do more than 12 reps, hold a weight plate against your chest and perform the exercise in the same manner.