It has often been said that the abdominals are one of the most difficult muscles to train, mostly as a result of the layers of fatty tissue frequently found in the stomach area laying over the abdominal muscles. Here are a few simple core exercises you can implement into your workout routine to blast away belly fat and digitally sculpt your high definition abs.
Undoubtedly sit-ups are widely recognized as one of the known best exercises to train those stubborn abdominal muscles.
▪ Begin the exercise by laying on your back on the floor, rug or exercise mat if you've got one. Your knees should both be bent with the balls of your feet positioned flat on the floor.
▪ Position both hands behind your head, or on opposite shoulders by crossing your arms across your chest. This is generally done to allow you to obtain a central rising point.
▪ Inhale gently and contract your abdominal muscles by tucking your belly button towards your spine.
▪ Slowly elevate your upper body by first slowly lifting your head off the floor followed by your shoulder blades until your elbows are positioned just past the knees. While in this position both feet should remain on the floor.
▪ Hold for a single count then slowly lower your body to the floor as you exhale.
Crunches are often used as a replacement form of exercise to train the abdominals for individuals who have had a previous history of neck injury. Performed with a similar technique the exercise begins with the person laying on their back on the floor with both elbows out to the sides and hands at your temples. However instead of elevating your upper body, start by pushing the lower back in the floor while slowly curling your chest towards your knees raising your shoulder blades off the floor. Hold this position for a single count then lower yourself to the starting position.
Most professional trainers will recommend including leg lifts to the exercise workout as an method of effectively training the lower abdominal muscles.
▪ Begin the exercise by laying on your back on a flat surface, both legs stretched out in front of you, hands to the sides and palms facing down. Men with a history of back problems should try folding a towel placing it under the curve of the back slightly above the hips.
▪ While tighten your abdominal muscles and squeezing your gluteus bend both legs and elevate them off the ground keeping your toes pointing outwards. Your thighs at this point should be almost at an angle of 90-degrees to your body with your shins parallel to the floor.
▪ Extend and straighten your legs towards the ceiling.
▪ Gradually lower your legs towards the floor to complete a single rep.
One of the popularly used exercises utilizing total core movement, V-Ups commonly referred to as Pike Crunch or Jackknife is recognized as one of the more advanced methods to train the abdominal muscles by additionally challenging the muscles of your core and back to improve flexibility.
▪ Start by laying on a the ground or on an exercise mat.
▪ Elevate your legs and head off the floor at the same time ensuring that both your legs are fully extended.
▪ Stretch your arms outward to touch your toes as close as you can, then lower your torso and legs back to the floor.
For the best results these exercises can be performed as a single workout completing 3 sets of each exercise using 15 to 20 reps.