Everyone wants to have a glistening six pack. But getting this result can often be harder than it looks. It takes dedication and time. It also requires you to use the right mix of exercises. Here are some of the best activities that are designed to target your core.
This is a simple, yet challenging, exercise. You will need to hold a cable in front of your body, keeping your arms straight. This exercise works by your abs to stabilize you, resisting the forces pulling you to the side. Not only will build ab muscle, but you will also be able to reduce the risk of future injury. While this can seem like a simple task, it will be more challenging than you planned.
This is an easy exercise to scale up, all you need to do is add more weight to the cable. It’s recommended that you do three sets, each with 10 reps.
The crunch has become one of the most popular ab exercises. This approach takes its effectiveness to the next level. To do this, all you need to do is lock your feet under the bench, then do the crunch. Make sure that your abs, rather than your hips, are pulling you back up. You should feel the burn with every crunch you do.
Even better, there are plenty of ways to increase the difficulty associated with this exercise. You can raise the angle of the bench. Or you can use a medicine ball to add additional weight. Alternatively, try to cross your arms across your chest.
These have become another classic ab exercise. There are two types of squats that you should employ. First, you can use back squats, where the barbell is placed along the shoulders. Secondly, you can do the front squat, where you are bringing your center of gravity forward by holding the weight in front of you.
Performing the squat is an easy activity. You just need to position your feet shoulder-width apart. Your back should be completely straight. Drop your hips below your knees. Push through your hips to lift your torso back to the sitting position. This video shows you how you can do a squat correctly.
Even better, there are some easy ways that you can increase the difficulty of the squats. A common option is to use a weight, like a barbell. You can also wear a weight belt.
Hanging Knee Raises
The next ab exercise to consider is a hanging knee raise. This will work all aspects of your body. To perform it, you will need to hang from a bar. Then, bend your knees and raise them to your chest. Slowly return them to the starting position. This is one rep.
One of the reasons why this exercise is so popular is because of the ways the difficulty can be increased. For example, when you are starting, you can use the captain’s chair. This places less pressure on your upper body, so you can focus on getting the right technique. As you grow in skill, you can make the challenge more difficult by adding weights around your legs. This can be done by adding a chain or holding a medicine ball between your knees. This will allow you to work until muscle failure.
You should aim to do three sets, each of them consisting of 15 reps. You might need to reduce this if you are planning on working until muscle failure.
Using an Ab Roller
If you don’t have access to expensive gym equipment, you might want to use an ab roller. This only costs a few dollars, but it can have a huge impact on your abs. It might be as effective as hanging leg raises, according to some scientific studies.
To use it, you need to roll out as far as you can. Then, use your core strength to reel yourself back in. You shouldn’t be arching your back during this process. If you are struggling with this, you can start at a closer distance and work your way up over time. It’s generally best to aim for three sets, each consisting of 12 reps.
This is another type of exercise that has earned a loyal fanbase. This is partly because of its effectiveness. But mainly due to its simplicity. All you need to do is place your forearms on the ground, elbows shoulder-width apart. Then, raise your body off the ground, as though you are doing a push-up. You should hold this position, making sure to keep a straight back.
How long you will need to hold this position will vary. Some people like to keep it for 30 seconds. Others go for 90 seconds. Try to do three sets.
Over time, the plank will become easier. The good news is that is there are plenty of variations, to help you keep pushing yourself to the limits. For example, you can lift one arm and one leg while maintaining the plank position. Or you can keep your feet elevated on an exercise ball. This video talks you through some of the other variations you can explore.
Finally, the Russian Twist is another classic ab strengthening exercise. Its power should not be overlooked. In this case, you will need to lift your knees into the air at a 90-degree angle. Then, clasp both hands and move from left to right. You should feel it contracting your abs.
There are some ways that you can add more intensity to the workout. One of the best options is to use a dumbbell or a medicine ball to add some extra weight. You can also hold your hands further away from your chest.
You should aim to do three sets of this movement. Each set consists of 15 Russian Twists.
If you are ready to target your abs, you can start to put some of these exercises together to form a workout program. Here is an example:
- Ab Roller. Aim to kick off with three sets of this exercise. Each one should be around 10 reps.
- Russian Twist. Again, you should aim for three sets. Try to get 15 reps a set. This might be a little lower if you are working with a heavy weight
- Right Side Plank. Let’s finish some planks. Aim to hold this position for three sets of 25 seconds each.
- Left Side Plank. Finish by doing three sets, each 25 seconds long.
This should be suitable for most beginners. If you want to make it more advanced, you can increase the amount of weight used for the Russian Twists. Next, increase the amount of time spent in each plank position.
Don’t Forget About Diet
While these exercises are a great way of building strength in your core, it still might be difficult for you to see the results you are looking for without the right diet. This has given rise to the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Without a low enough body weight percentage, there will be too much stomach fat to see your abs.
Because of this, you should start watching what you eat. It might help to use a cutting supplement. This is designed to burn through your body fat and reduce water weight, so you can show off your new gains.
With the right exercise and diet, anyone can have a rock-hard six-pack. All you need to do is commit to a training routine built on these exercises. Remember to tailor each one to suit your fitness level. If you stick to this plan, you should start to see the results within a few weeks.