The Secret To Well Toned Abdominals Muscles
Abs are your body's center of power and provide
strength. Strong abs aid
balance, help prevent
lower back 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. The fact is that abdominal muscles are
NOT the largest muscles in the body. This means that your body does not burn too
many calories during abdominal exercises.
The secret is
exercises that burn extra calories to lower
body fat, allowing the abdominal
muscles to be visibly toned and sculpted.
are effective. These exercises involve the lower body, specifically the
(the muscles in the hip and buttock region burn a lot of calories, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body) and the quadriceps and
Translation - you burn more calories, which means more body fat. Strength
training for the
shoulders also helps boost metabolism, which is critical to low body fat. Only
when your body fat is low enough, can your abdominal muscles become tight and
This is where
you need a routine consisting of exercise for lower abdominal muscles. Such a
routine helps you define and sculpt the
lower abdominals, giving you that 'chiselled'
Keep track of your abs exercises in a workout journal so you know which
exercises work best for you and produce the best results!
A recent study showed that the classic sit-up is not the best exercise for stronger, flatter
abdominals. This exercise generally involves the hip 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 three
abdominal exercises are:
Crunch on exercise ball.
Lie on your
back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
fingers on the side of your head just behind your ears.
lower back into the floor flattening the arch and hold.
knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal
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.
throughout the exercise.
repetitions (up to three sets).
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:
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 chest.
Don't arch the back and remember to breathe smoothly.
Slowly lower back down and repeat for 12-16 reps.
on exercise ball
ball is an excellent tool to
strengthen the abs and comes out number three for
working the rectus abdominis.
Lie face-up with the ball resting under your mid/lower back.
Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your
ribcage down toward your hips.
As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., you shouldn't roll).
Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 12-16 reps.
For best results with abdominal muscle exercises, remember to eat a
healthy diet and
perform aerobic exercise 3 times a week in addition to abdominal exercises.
Watch your diet and lose that extra
body fat. The best abdominal muscles in the
world may be hidden by a stubborn layer of body fat.