Attaining a trim and toned midsection is by far the number one fitness goal held by most people. Your dreams of a flawless stomach and flat abs can now come true because I am about to unveil the 5 most sought after ab exercises, which I like to refer to as the 5 Golden Ab Exercises.
Go ahead and pinch yourself.
Before we jump right into the 5 Golden Exercises, there are a few things you need to know that will make or break your tummy tightening dreams. Ab exercises are great for strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles, but solely doing these exercises will not make your abs flat. Achieving that perfect midsection is a process that takes more than a little time sweating in the gym. It takes hard work, and a full-body game plan.
Or in this case, a dream guide:
The only way to washboard abs is to lose the body fat that is currently residing in that area. The only way to lose body fat is to:
- Participate in regular cardiovascular exercise.
- Maintain a full body strength training routine.
- Eat a nutritious, calorie specific, healthy diet.
The key here is to change your lifestyle to one that promotes weight loss rather than fat storage. Now, how about those 5 golden exercises?
The secret that makes these exercises golden is the fact that, when done together, they use all of the muscles in your abdominal region.
There are four basic types of abdominal exercises, each focusing on a specific area of your body:
- Upper abs
- Lower abs
- Obliques (sides)
If you want to get rid of fat storage nightmares once and for all it is very important that you do at least one of each exercise type every time that you workout. Here’s a program we suggest:
Exercise #1 (upper abs): The Crunch
Lie on your back on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Support your head by placing your hands behind it, and keep your eyes turned towards the ceiling throughout the entire movement. Raise your upper body a few inches off of the mat by contracting your abs. Hold yourself in this contracted position for a moment before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position.
Exercise #2 (obliques): The Oblique Crunch
Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and hands behind your head. Lift your leg so that your knee is at a 90-degree angle, and the lower part of your leg is parallel with the floor. Exhale as you bring your right elbow in towards your left knee, while squeezing your abs. Inhale as you slowly extend your leg back out to the starting position.
Exercise #3 (entire core): The Exercise Ball Crunch
Lie with your upper back on the exercise ball and your feet flat on the ground in front of you. Support your head by placing your hands behind it, and keep your eyes turned up towards the ceiling throughout the entire movement. Exhale as you raise your upper body up a few inches off of the ball by contracting your abs. Hold yourself in this contracted position for a moment before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position.
Exercise #4 (upper abs): The Toe Touch
Lie down flat on your back with your legs up in the air and your arms outstretched above your head. Raise your arms up and reach your toes. Hold yourself in this contractive position for a moment, and then inhale as you slowly lower your arms back down until they touch the mat. Repeat your required repetitions before allowing your legs to touch back down onto the mat.
Exercise #5 (lower abs): The Hanging Leg Raise
Position yourself in the roman chair by gripping the handles and placing your elbows against the pads, or grip overhead handles and allow yourself to hang. Exhale as you raise your knees up towards your chest. Remember to keep your back flat against the back pad, or if hanging, try to keep yourself from swinging. Hold yourself in this contracted position for a moment, and then inhale as you slowly return your legs back down to the starting position.
Keep up the hard work and make your dream abs into reality!