The longer you spend in the fitness world, the more you realize there are a number of topics and questions that seem to re-surface every few weeks.
One of the most common things we hear, is:
“How can I work my abs effectively?”
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The reason that the question keeps rearing its head is that there are so many different answers. The more information that we are given, the more difficult it can be to take it all in and translate it into a course of action that we can work with and see results.
So in the hope of addressing a pressing issue, here are some great exercises that you can do at home, in your own time, with the end result being a stronger set of abs.
Always warm up
Do a quick and gentle warm up to get the blood and oxygen flowing (stick your favourite dance track on and have a four minute boogie to yourself) then get ready to go.
1st exercise: Forearm Plank
The plank is the perfect exercise for ladies wanting to increase their core strength and flatten their tums, so it’s our first point of call for this workout.
On your forearms, extend one leg straight out, keeping your body in good alignment, then extend the other leg until you are on the balls of your feet, holding the position as long as you can without losing your alignment.
Keep your legs and buttocks squeezed tight together and don’t let those hips sag.
If you need more information search WatchFit for the perfect plank, you will find a more concise explanation there.
Time your plank and watch yourself improve every time you practice.
Even if you only manage a few seconds, that’s fine, you will find your core improves very quickly doing the plank.
2nd exercise: Roman Twist
Sit on the floor and gently lean back till you feel your tummy muscles begin to strain.
With your core muscles now in operation, twist gently and slowly from one side to the other, keeping those muscles tight.
Breathe normally as you do the movement. and be careful not to turn too far, you should not experience pain, especially in the lower back, as you do this exercise.
It’s a great toner for your tummy and waist and it can be advanced very easily as you get fitter.
Once you are familiar and comfortable with the exercise, try doing it with your feet slightly off the floor, this makes your core work even harder, as you maintain your balance during the movement.
Still need to make it harder? Try it whilst holding your kettlebell for an incredible and challenging workout.
3rd and final movement: The Roll Up
We start lying flat on the floor with legs outstretched. Take your arms out behind you so you’re in a straight line, inhale, then start to roll yourself up off the floor as you try to reach a seated position.
As you roll out start to exhale.
Try not to throw the move forward, instead work at gradually bringing yourself upright.
Pay particular attention to your back, making sure you are using only your tummy muscles to perform the move, if there is pain you should stop immediately.
Once you get upright with a straight back and tight tum, it’s time to slowly lower yourself back down to where you started. This may take a lot of practice, but roll ups are a great abs exercise.
The three movements should be controlled and performed slowly and carefully.
Don’t give up if you find they are difficult at first. Practice daily, it should only take you a few minutes, and every day you will improve.
Search WatchFit for tips on what to eat when you are working those tummy muscles, and hopefully in a few weeks you should notice that your abdominal strength has increased, and along with the right diet, you might get a glimpse of the six pack you may have spent a long time covering up!
Connect with Expert Louie Fecou