Start with the basic crunch. This is truly the building block of all core workouts, and one you have probably seen a million times. It is easy to do, and can be effective if performed correctly.
To perform the crunch, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hands behind your head. Simply contract your abs, exhale and lift your shoulders and head off the floor. Do not pull your head with your hands, let your abs do the work. Inhale as you come back down. Repeat. Start with 3 sets of 20 and build up from there, adding more repetitions.
Planks are one of the best abdominal exercises around, but again, they should be performed correctly. These can be tough, so start with say, 20 seconds and build up to 60 seconds. Get in a pushup position, pelvis tucked under, shoulders out of the ears, shoulders over elbows over wrists, body in a straight line, and simply hold. Do not hold your breath, though. If you find that being on your toes is too much, start on your knees and then work up to your toes.
Medicine Ball Exercises
Working with a medicine ball is great for your abs, too. This added weight is a perfect way to shock your abdominals and make them work harder. One great medicine ball exercise is the Russian Twist. Sit on the floor, with your knees bent. Hold the medicine ball in both hands and simply twist side to side, touching the floor each rep. Do 20 of these per set, starting with one set and working your way up to three.
Physio Ball Exercises
The physio ball, or stability ball, is ideal for ab work; it makes you work your core by just sitting on it. Try doing your crunches on the ball, or even your planks (with your upper body on the ball). These will really challenge the core.
There are also a number of abdominal machines in the gym that will help you get a set of six-pack abs. Follow the directions on the machine, or ask a personal trainer for help.
Ab exercises are not something many look forward to. However, if you want to see results in your core, ab exercises are a must. When doing different exercises, keep your abs engaged. When lunging, tighten that core, and even when doing a bicep curl, engage your abs. If you want more tips on how to get in shape contact, me, Ralph Roberts today. I am a nationally certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas. If you’d like to sign up for regular personal training sessions or simply want a customized workout plan you can work from, I can help.
For more challenging core exercises, check out my video below!