Abdominal exercises are probably the most difficult and uncomfortable muscles to train, but the most rewarding. Some experts would go as far as to say that the quality of your abdominal (abs) muscles makes or breaks you. There is no doubt what a great 6 pack can do for an individual, especially a male. There is no better feeling, ask anyone!
The key to getting visible abdominal muscles is to reduce the amount of fat covering the abdominal muscles. Simply exercising the abdominal muscles alone won’t achieve the best results; this is usually referred to as “spot reduction”. Spot reduction is now believed to be not as effective as exercising the whole body. Research shows that fat is lost all over the body, not just in the area that is trained.
This article will try and explain some of the abdominal exercises for getting definite results. It will also include instructions on how to do these abdominal exercises. Have fun!
Reduce fat and reveal those abdominal muscles
Two ways of reducing those fat away from the abdomen includes
* Dieting and
Dieting – If your body is high in body fat percentage then you abdominals will not show no matter how much you exercise your abdominals.
Most fitness experts would agree that eating very little fat and lots of complex carbohydrates and protein, would help to ensure that you don’t add additional fat to the abdomen and other areas of the body. Remember that the abdominal are muscles, they too need proper nutrition just like the rest of the body.
Exercise – Abdominal muscles respond to high repetition, aerobic style exercises. Abdominal exercises includes moderate aerobic exercises 2-3 times per week, works best to burn fat that’s already stored. High intensity exercises burns glycogen not so much fat, so keep the workout intensity down at a level that can be sustained for 10 to 15 minutes. A light jog, swimming, power walking, cycling etc are great for burning fat.
Remember that when you are performing these abdominal exercises that you should really concentrate on conttracting your muscles as hard as you can. It is not a competition, there is no point on doing 100 cruches if its not working your abs, make sure you do them correctly and really feel the fatigue in your abs. Below are instructions for 4 popular abdominal exercises. They include
* Abdominal crunches – upper ab (1 star)
* Side crunches – side ab (1 star)
* Twist crunches – side ab (2 star)
* Reverse crunches – lower ab (1 star)
* Seated V-crunches – lower ab (3 star)
* Sit-Up – Jack Knife – lower ab (3 star)
* Cable crunches – upper ab (3 star)
Of all the abdominal exercises this may be the most basic and yet effective exercise. Lie on the floor and place you legs up on a bench if you prefer. This position ensures that your back is supported and flat against the floor. Place your hands behind your head or for lighter resistance, across your chest. Bring the chest up towards the thighs until you feel a contraction in your abs. Pause for the contraction and slowly return to the starting position. Exhale on the contraction. Crunches should be performed in a continuous and a controlled fashion
Side crunches: side abdominal
Side crunches are essentially the same as regular crunches with the focus on the oblique muscles or side abdominal. The same technique applies however the legs are twisted to one side.
Reverse Crunch: lower abdominal
This abdominal exercise can be done on the ground or on an incline sit-up board. All you need is something behind your head to hold. If you use the incline board, use it with your feet lower than your head.
Lying on your back, hold a weight or a chair leg (if lying on the floor) or the foot bar (if using the sit-up board). Keep the knees slightly bent. Pull your pelvis and legs up so that your knees are above your chest and then return to beginning position. This exercise is very similar to a hanging knee raise, but a little less intense.
Performe this abdominal exercise on a flat bench. It’s another lower abdominal targeting exercise. It’s almost like lying leg lifts except your chest is at a 45-degree angle starting out. Sit at the edge of a bench and reach back just enough to support yourself from completely lying on the bench. Once you’re stabilized, bring your knees toward your chest. You basically want to create a V motion when you perform them. For example, one end of the V is your head, the other is your knee. The base of the V would be your abdomen.
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