Time to get your Abs Ready for Summer
your body's center of power and provide
core strength. Strong abs aid
balance, help prevent
injuries and promote good
posture. Consistent abdominal workouts (10-15 min, 4-5x per week) performed
correctly are not just for physical well being, but for aesthetics too. The
secret to developing great abs lies in treating your body as a complete unit.
Don't make the mistake doing hundreds of repetitions of abdominal exercises in
the hope of getting a flat abdominal region.
A recent study showed that the classic sit-up is not the best exercise for
stronger, flatter abdominals. This exercise generally involves the
muscles instead of the abdominals, and in most cases, places an unnecessary
amount of strain on the lower back. Instead, the 'crunch'
is the best option. The top abdominal exercises are:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Place your fingers on the side of your head just behind your ears.
Push your lower back into the floor flattening the arch and hold.
Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a
bicycle pedal motion.
Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your
left knee in a slow and controlled manner and with full extension of each leg
on every repetition.
Breath evenly throughout the exercise.
Perform 20-30 repetitions (up to three sets).
The Captain's Chair is the second most effective move for the rectus
abdominis as well as the obliques and can be found in most health clubs and
gyms. To do it right:
Stand on the chair and grip handholds to stabilize your upper body.
Press your back against the pad and contract the abs to raise the legs and
lift knees towards your
Don't arch the back and remember to
Slowly lower back down and repeat for 12-16 reps.
Rope Climbing: This is quite a tough exercise for the abdominal muscles.
Start by lying
on your back on the floor.
stomach muscles so that you start to roll up until you are about halfway to a
sitting position, knees bent, arms outstretched in front of you.
you fists, then raise one arm above your head. Lower this arm again and, as
you do so, raise the other one. This movement looks as if you are pulling on a
If the stomach
muscles start to bulge out or quiver, stop. Repeat for 8 pulls.
Stand up straight with a
dumbbell in your right hand and your left hand placed on your hip.
Bend to your right slowly,
lowering the dumbbell until you feel the muscle in your side (oblique)
contracting. Pause, and then slowly rise to your starting position.
Switch the dumbbell to the
other hand and repeat.
In a seated position on the floor, knees bent and feet flat, hold a
medicine ball or weight plate and extend it out in front of you. Then lean
back, putting tension on your abs.
Twist your torso to the left as you lower the ball down to your hip, then
extend the ball out and in front of you.
Rotate back to the right, bringing the ball up and over your legs, then
down to your hip, extending the ball out and in front of you.
Air Pumps with a cross:
Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your ears and your legs
extended, knees over your hips, and your lower legs slightly bent.
As you curl your torso up, simultaneously bring your left shoulder and
right knee toward each other.
Then extend your right leg. Repeat the movement to the opposite side. Itís
as if you were pedaling a bicycle in the air.
strength more quickly, lift weights more slowly. This allows your muscles
to rely more on
strength than momentum.
adequate rest: Take one to two rest days a week.
best and safest results, supplement your
abdominal exercises with
back exercises to strengthen your entire midsection and avoid possible injury.
Perform jackknives and crunches on a padded surface or exercise mat to
prevent pain and cushion your back.
Once you have strengthened your abdominal, add ankle weights to your
legs during your routine to increase resistance and build definition.
Dated 06 March 2012