The 3 Most Effective Ab Workouts According To Experts
- According to a study done by the American Council on Exercise, there are three abdominal workouts that are most effective in achieving a strong core and washboard stomach muscles.
- Bicycle crunches use all of the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis the front ab muscles that make up the visible six-pack.
- The captain’s chair stimulates both the abdominals and the obliques that line the sides of your abs.
- Finally, crunches done on a medicine or balance ball will engage the rectus abdominis and, due to the balance they require, will engages smaller ab muscles, giving a well-rounded burn.
Six-pack abs are impressive to look at, and often conjure up images of hours spent in the gym however, obtaining a strong core is surprisingly easy, if you know how.
Visible abs are actually made in the kitchen a diet leading to a low body fat percentage is the most important things but there are various workouts that will successfully harden and transform your abdominals.
According to a study done by the American Council on Exercise , there are three abdominal workouts that are most effective in achieving a strong core and washboard stomach muscles.
Add Fatty Fish To Your Diet
Adding fatty fish to your diet provides you with a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart and brain health. Our bodies do not produce omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to consume foods containing them, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. For the best effect, you should eat fatty fish two times a week.
Kettlebell Around The World
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand with your arm at your side. Engage your abs and keep your arm with the kettlebell straight with the elbow soft. Swing the kettlebell in front of your body and pass it to your left hand.
Without stopping the motion, swing the kettlebell behind your body and pass it to your right hand again.
Continue in this direction for 3060 seconds and repeat in the opposite direction.
Pro tip: Keep your shoulders relaxed to avoid overworking your upper traps.
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How To Perform The Exercises
Exercise 1: Sit-up
Primary Target: Upper Abs
Exercise 2: Leg Lift
Primary Target: Lower Abs
Exercise 3: V-up
Primary Target: Upper and Lower Abs
Exercise 4: Seated knee tuck
Primary Target: Lower Abs
How Often Should You Do Ab Workouts
While you might be a fan of chucking a few sit-ups into your routine as an ab finisher, the addition probably isnt serving you well. Unlike most muscle groups, your abs are readily improving and adapting. Unless you are adding significant resistance to your ab workouts, you should be fine to complete ab exercises every day, and it would be wise to do so.
The abs are one of those muscles that are designed to train often and typically have high endurance so need high reps, Wood says. A strong core is a must for a strong body, good posture, reduced risk of injury and good balance and stability so training your abs at the start of every workout or at least every second day definitely isnt too much.
While adding ab workouts to every gym session might sound excessive, Wood says a continuous and dedicated approach to training your abs will serve you well in the long-run.
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The Bicycle Manoeuvre Or Bicycle Crunches
According to the ACE study, this is the most effective ab workout.
For this position, you lie on your back on a yoga mat with your legs in the air and knees pulled towards your chest. Fingertips should be placed behind your ears.
To engage your core, contract your shoulder blades as you lift each side off the floor while straightening one leg and rotating your body. With each rotation, your elbow should reach towards your opposite leg.
The exercise uses all of the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis – the front ab muscles that make up the six-pack.
Standing Side Bend With Dumbbells
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell you can safely manage in one hand. Put your free arm on your waist. Bend from your waist toward the side youre holding the weights on. Engage your core to pull your torso back upright.
Do the right side only for 1 minute, then the left side only for 1 minute. Then alternate sides for 1 minute.
Pro tip: Make sure youre not sticking your butt out as you bend.
Sit Up With Overhead Press
a) Lie down on your back. Bend your legs and place your feet firmly on the ground to stabilise your lower body. Hold a dumbbell with both hands.
b) Curl your upper body all the way up toward your knees. Exhale as you lift.
c) As you curl up, press the dumbbell out directly above you, keeping a soft bend in your elbows.
d) Slowly, lower yourself down, returning your arms and body to your starting point. Inhale as you lower.
Additional Tips For A Flat Stomach
To get a flat stomach and visible, defined abs, youll need to tone up your whole body and lower your body fat percentage. There are plenty of ways you can do this, and lots of options involve small, simple changes to your daily life.
Take a look at some of the following suggestions that can help to flatten out your belly. If you feel overwhelmed by choice, pick out the options that appeal to you most and will be easiest to implement into your life.
You may start seeing signs of progress within a few weeks of consistent exercise, but it can take from a few months up to a year of work before you see the full results.
Remember to focus on the bigger picture your health! and make as many positive changes to your diet and exercise as possible.
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Exercises To Flatten Your Belly At Home
In this article:
A bulging belly not only makes you look out of shape, but it is associated with an increased risk of mortality, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Abdominal fat is usually very stubborn and can only be reduced through a combination of proper diet and consistent exercise.
Below are some simple exercises you can do at home to flatten your belly with only your bodyweight. All of these exercises can be done with similar frequency, so it is recommended to pick 34 movements and perform them 23 times a week for 3 sets of 1012 repetitions.
Weighted Modified Russian Twist
a) Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and both hands holding the weight above your chest. Use your abs to raise your torso to a 45-degree angle with the floor.
b) Slowly twist your torso to the right side, keeping your arms straight and raised. Pause and then reverse the twist to repeat on the left side. Thats one rep.
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What Muscles Make Up Your Core
What many people dont realize is that the abs are made up of four major muscle groups: external obliques, internal obliques, rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis. And the best ab workouts target all of these areas.
The external obliques are the muscles on the sides of the upper part of your stomach, while the internal obliques are the muscles on the outer, lower part of your stomach. The rectus abdominis consists of a pair of muscles that start at the sternum and run down vertically. These are responsible for giving your core that six-pack look. Lastly, the transverse abdominis muscle runs from side to side, helping with balance. This muscle is directly under the belly button and is focused on heavily in Pilates.
I often get asked by clients: how do I tone my stomach? The answer is to work all of these areas. So skip the endless crunches, and try this well-rounded routine that hits all the muscle groups that make up your abdominal region.
Why Strengthen Your Core
Now, you might be wondering how doing ab exercises is going to prevent you from falling which is one of the leading causes of fatal injuries in older adults .
Stay with me, and youll discover that your core actually consists of much more than just your six-pack muscles. It basically includes almost your entire torso, from the front of your stomach and wrapping all the way around your lower back.
This includes the rectus abdominus , the internal and external obliques , the transverse abdominus , the hips, and the lower back.
As you can imagine, these core muscles do a lot more than just look good.
When you strengthen your core, you essentially strengthen your ability to do almost any type of movement.
Since the core supports and stabilizes your spine, youll find that with a strong core it becomes much easier to bend, reach, and twist. In turn, this helps you become less susceptible to balance-related falls.
Studies confirm this, showing that gaining core strength through pilates-style exercises can help increase stability and mobility, keeping you fall-free for longer .
As a bonus, you might also discover you have less low back pain, since your disks and joints will be cushioned by a nice wall of muscle, which relieves pressure from your joints.
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Best Workout For Belly Fat
Trying to lose belly fat is a common problem for both men and women. It is a particularly harmful fat, leading to an increased risk of diseases and adversely affecting your health. The good news is that this can be achieved with hard work, dedication, and a mixture of good diet and exercise. The 10 minute fat-burning morning workout by fitness guru and YouTube vlogger Rowan Row will help you transform your body. The routine involves several steps, which are bound to make you sweat but will do the trick they can also be adapted depending on your fitness level.
If you dont regularly work out, there is no better time to start than today, but you need to build up your fitness level and strength first. You do not want to overdo it on day one, as this can make you hate your workout and cause injury. You can do a third of the exercises that Rowan Ro demonstrates in the video for the first five days for beginners. The following five days, you can increase this to half of what it did, and the five days after that, increase it to two-thirds of the workout. This will help build up endurance and keep you motivated. Several exercises are featured in the video, but the basics of the workout are as follows:
45-sec high knees 45-sec low to high plank 45-sec half burpees 45-sec toe touch 45-sec squat jumps 20-20 sec side plank each side 45-sec alternate lunges 45-sec jumping jacks 45-sec hip thrust 45 sec but kicks
Lose The Belly Fat Faster With Our Diet And Exercise Plan
Lose weight and get in great shape with our 6 Week Flat Belly Challenge. Where we guide you through our diet and exercise plan designed to help you drop the pounds fast while transforming your body shape.
The plan will help you learn new healthy habits, helping you to lose weight long into the future.
The program comes complete with a food guide, our HIIT workouts with videos and more that can all be done at home or at the gym.
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If I’m Trying To Lose Body Fat What Else Should I Do Besides Stomach Exercises
Learning how to tone your stomach is one thing but trying to lose body fat to make your stomach look leaner is another.
Firstly, there are multiple elements to losing belly fat and none of them has anything to do with crash dieting or unsafe eating protocols. Instead, calculating a safe calorie deficit that supports your lifestyle is the key to safe and sustainable fat loss.
Creating a calorie deficit through your diet is much more reliable than trying to create the same gap with exercise. Use our calorie deficit calculator to find out what that is for you :
Tailoring your nutrition is one prong to losing weight well but regular strength training to maintain muscle mass and keeping your NEAT exercise high are two other important factors not to sleep on either.
If you’re not in the know, NEAT exercise makes up more of your total daily energy expenditure than your gym workout or home workout. This means making sure you keep your daily movement high throughout the day instead of just when you’re getting on your exercise mat or on the treadmill is crucially important.
Forms of NEAT exercise include doing household chores, walking your dog, playing with your kids, strolling around the park with a podcast or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. It’s basically anything you do that doesn’t count as demarcated exercise.
How To Make This Ab Routine Easier Or Harder
If you can’t do an exercise, due to lower-back injuries for instance, feel free to substitute it with an exercise that doesn’t bother your back.
If, on the other hand, you have a healthy lower back and would like to add extra mass to your abs, do the workout three times a week and use some resistance in the exercises, such as holding a small plate or dumbbell.
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Tone Every Part Of Your Core With These 7 Exercises
Losing belly fat and toning the stomach is one of the most common goals I hear from my weight-loss clients.
In addition to cardio, ab exercises can help you start getting rid of excess belly fat and flatten and tone the stomach area. Plus, abs are considered your bodys center of gravity and are responsible for aiding in balance and coordination. So theres much more benefit to strengthening your abdominals beyond the aesthetic reasons.
Many people’s first instinct is to drop down and start crunching. While there is a place for crunches in a core routine, they only target one muscle group in the abdominal region. To really see results, it’s important to incorporate exercises that target all of the muscle groups that make up your core.
How To Lose Belly Fat
If you want to lose belly fat, there are several ways to do so. This includes a mixture of dietary changes and a good exercise routine. You should avoid certain foods, such as those high in sugar and trans fats, and others that you should eat more of soluble fiber and protein. It is also essential to ensure that you are getting enough rest and exercise. Some workouts help target the belly area better, and you can focus on these while also increasing your heart rate and burning calories. Losing abdominal fat is not something that will happen overnight, so stay focused and informed.
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Use Good Fats When Cooking
When cooking, you need to pay attention to the products you use and focus on good fats. Cooking oils that can withstand higher temperatures include olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. These oils can include unsaturated fatty acids. Healthy fats can improve overall health by reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
How To Do This Lower Abs Workout
Next, Ill show you how to put the lower ab exercises below together for a great workout to help tone up your lower pooch.
Try setting a timer for 30 seconds for each exercise before moving onto the next exercise with about 10 seconds of rest in between.
Its a good idea not to rest long in between exercises since you really want to create a burn in your abs.
You can go through each exercise once before repeating again 2 to 3 times.
Although I wouldnt recommend doing all these exercises at once. Its better to pick 3 to 5 of your favorites and do those for the workout.
Then next time you can do the other 5 lower ab exercises to add variety to the workouts. Try mixing up the timings too. Go for 40 seconds and even 50 seconds per exercise if your body can handle it.
Be sure to keep mixing up your lower ab workouts as you dont want your progress to stall and end up in a plateau.
A big tip I can give you when working out your lower abs is to have a posterior pelvic tilt.
This will help to increase the activation of your lower abdominals. All so you can better target them when exercising.
To do this all you have to do it while lying on your lower back is to push your pelvis upwards more pointing towards your nose.
A good way to practice this is to lay on your back with your knees bent. Then slowly tilt your pelvis up and down to help you get the mind-body connection going.
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