Tired of having a tire around your stomach? Have you been trying everything and not seeing any abs? Maybe you are not exactly fluffy around the waste, but just wish there was some definition on that plain belly? In any case, your days of struggle and wishing are over. I too struggled in this area for years. Once I met some experienced trainers and nutritionists that knew what they were doing, my eyes were opened for the first time. I’m going to key you in on some great exercises that are going to get you the results you are missing. Some of these exercises you may see and go “Hey…I do that one!” which is why I’m going to throw you a key element that tons of beginners and even many experienced gym goers fail to utilize.
First Things First
Abs are the core of your body, and all the muscles you utilize to do anything in your day could not be done without using your core. When you play with your kids you are using your abs, when you do laundry you are using your abs, when you bend to pick up your pencil you are using your abs…nothing really happens with your bodily movements without the required need for your abs to fire up. So why don’t we all have chiseled washboard abs? I’ll get to that in a little bit. The big picture here is to understand that your core is an essential component to your movement and being in physical shape. With a weak core you are more prone to injury and long term aches and pains. If you have ever done lifting, an intense workout, or are just totally out of shape and you are beginning to get a lot of lower back pain, this is usually the direct result of having a weak core. It is important to work your midsection along with the rest of your body as it really is the foundation to everything your body needs to do in order to…well…anything!!! Therefore in order to get started on the right track, I am bringing forward some easy but effective workouts you can do at home or at the gym. By incorporating these workouts only once or twice a week (nothing more) you will begin to see great results on a beginner level. Add in my key ingredient and you can’t lose. Let’s get started!!!
The forearm plank is easier on the hands and arms and is the perfect form of plank to start with. Make no mistake, this exercise will fire up a lot more than just your abs. To perform this plank you are going to want to go into a push-up position with toes grounded on the floor. Instead of being in a full push-up formation with your body in the air and held up by your hands and arms, you will keep your body in the air but rest on your forearm and elbows. The goal is to be perfectly straight with your back, butt, and legs forming a perfect line. Be sure to tighten your butt muscles to help stabilize your entire body. Make sure not to lock your joints and hyperextend your knees. Focus in front of your hands (about a foot) to help protect your shoulders and head from too much stress and properly align your head with your spine. It is common for people to lock their hands together which is okay, but pay attention on your form. If you find that while locking your hands and fighting the pain is making your look down and/or arch your shoulders up, place your hands and arms shoulder width apart and parallel to the body and palms down. This can help with the bad habit of breaking that nice straight posture. The goal is to hold that form for the duration of the sequence without compromising form or breath. Remember to breath as normal as possible…but most importantly…just remember to breath! To start, try 3 sets for 20-30 seconds a each.
Glute bridges are a great exercise for those experiencing lower back pain who want to get the muscles stronger to lessen the pain. It also happens to be a great exercise for building a “Core Foundation” (pun intended). Not only will it work your abs, but it will also tighten your butt and thigh muscles as well. Lay in a sit-up position with your arms out. With your feet planted, slowly lift your pelvis into the air thrusting it up. Only raise your body to the point where your chest, belly, and thighs form a nice straight line. Hold this point for two seconds and then slowly lower back to the ground and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10-20 reps.
Standing Bicycle Crunches
This is the most aerobic of the exercises on the list and will deliver much better results than the standard crunch which does not yield as good of results as previously believed and can also be damaging to the neck. This simple modification works a lot of the body, will increase circulation, and will help tightening the sides of your abs and rotational muscles. With your hands behind your head and feet hip-width apart, lift your right leg raising your knee up while lowering your left elbow towards the knee. Then return to the starting position. Do the same movement with the left leg an the right elbow. If you can connect them great, if not just go as far as you can. Start by doing 3 sets of 10 with 1 being the first leg and 2 being the second leg and so on.
This is a great exercise for balance. It will fire up your abs, hamstrings, butt, and shoulders. This is also another exercise that will build up core strength and lessen back pain over time. Start on the floor on all fours. Your hands should be shoulder length apart and legs should be hip width apart. Once in the home position, lift and extend out your right hand and straighted your arm. While your arm is still straight, begin to raise your left foot out behind you extending it back until your leg is straight. With your foot and hand out, you should be forming a perfectly straight line. hold for just a second and then bring your knee and elbow in and connect if you can and then extend them back out and hold for another second before dropping back into the home position. Switch feet and arms and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 totaling five for each side.
All right, you have done it. You are building the foundation to putting muscle in that belly. It will just be a matter of time before you have that six pack…or won’t it? This is where many have come and failed. This is the point where those that have done the exercises and feel they are stronger never see the results. Often time when no physical achievement can be seen, people just lose faith and quit. When really the truth is they most likely have that six pack right there, but failed to implement that key element into their routine. That element is burning fat. It sounds so simple, but people really never get those washboard abs out in view because they have too much fat rapped around them. In order to tap into your six pack, you need to shred that fat off quickly. This can take some time as this is one of the hardest areas of the body to target for fat loss. You can do ab exercises all day, but without a solid diet and fat burning routines that target belly fat, you are going to come up short.
If you want to begin the process of initiating that fat burning ingredient and show those abs you have worked hard to bring out, then click the link below!