Abs, short form of ‘Abdomen’, is perhaps the most ‘famous’ muscle of our body. Maybe, it is next only to biceps. It is famous because whomever you ask, or meet, the part they say they want to sculpt is their abdomen.
Everybody wants a six-pack/ eight-pack abdomen and this phenomenon was given more fuel by the recent fact that every movie star is up and running for six/eight packs. Be it for a movie or just for showing off, abs has recently most surely outrun biceps as the most famous body muscle. But there is one catch.
Abs, or abdominal muscles, is the toughest muscle to train. It does not show immediate results as biceps and some other body muscles and also less fun to train. Having a well-defined and ‘carved’ abs is not only the cornerstone for a great physique, but also it helps build up the body’s strength for every human activity.
The reason everybody wants a good abs is that it gives your body an altogether better shape and makes you feel good and confident about yourself. So if you finally set your mind to build up that abs of yours, come aboard and see if these ten all-time favorite abs exercises makes a difference to that tummy of yours.
Many of the exercises are in a position of lying down. It is suggested that you lie down on a soft mattress, or any other soft material to refrain from any damage.
This is the best one to start off with. Bicycle exercise directly targets the ‘six pack’ and the waist. To do this, lie down face up on your exercise mat and grip your head loosely from behind, supporting it with fingers.
Then bring your knees towards your chest and lift your shoulders off the floor without pulling on the neck.
Now straighten one out while simultaneously rotating the upper body to one side, say left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
Now do the same with moving the body to the other side, i.e. right. Do a repeat of 10-12, in a set of 2-3.
Captain’s Chair Leg Raise
Many people find this exercise working wonders too. A ‘captain’s chair’ is a rack, with padded armrests, which allows your legs to hang free and it is found in many health clubs and gyms.
Grip the handholds coming out of the armrests, steadying your body, while standing ‘inside’ the captain’s chair.
Press your backside against the backside pad and contract the abs to raise legs and lift the knees to your chest. In the meantime, doing this, do not arch your back or bend your legs. Slowly lower your body down and repeat for 10-12 times, set of 2-3.
Crunches on Ball
Sit on an exercise ball with your feet shoulder-width apart, touching the floor. Now lean backwards to the point where your backside is parallel with the floor.
Lift your arms up, so that they are perfectly perpendicular to your body, pointing towards the sky. Shrink your abs, like a normal crunch, as you reach out with your hands. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds. Then slowly return to the base position. Do a repetition of 10.
Leg crunch (Vertical)
This is a more intense crunch with the abs doing most of the work. Lie down on the floor, with your legs up, and knees crossed. You may put your hands behind your head to support, but avoid pulling on the neck.
Shrink your abs and lift your shoulders, as though your chest is reaching out for your feet. Now try contracting your belly button towards your spine at the top of the movement. Bring down your body to its starting position. Repeat for 10-12 times, and do a set of 2-3.
Twist and Crunch
Lie on the floor facing up, hands beside your ears and legs at right angles with the floor. Rotate your buttocks a little, by shrinking your right oblique muscles, hold this position. Now using the abdominal muscles bring the left elbow across to the exterior of your right knee. Slowly return to starting position and repeat with the left side. Do a repetition of 10-12 times.
Photo Credit: muscleprodigy.com
Hip/ Leg Raise
It is recommended for this exercise that you lie down on a bench. Now your legs should be pointing upwards, at right angles with the bench.
Now contract the abs and raise your hips. Now keep lowering your legs down slowly and bring them almost ion the same line as the bench (rest of the body). Hold the position for 3 counts and repeat for 10-12 times.
V-shape exercise (Jackknife)
Lie down on the floor with your hands outstretched loosely over your head and your legs too resting in a straight lien with your body. Now lift your limbs towards the ceiling, try to reach the feet with your fingers.Return to the base position and repeat 10-12 times, for a set of 2-3.
Lie down in a “T” position, i.e. with both arms outstretched on their respective sides and legs outstretched. Raise your legs so that they are perpendicular with the floor. Now twist your hips, still connected to the floor, in a side-to-side manner that moves your legs from side to side like a windshield of a car. Repeat for 10-12 times, and set of 2-3.
Rest on a bench, so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor and upper legs perpendicular to your body. Hold the above part of the bench to make your body firm in that position.
Now contract your abs muscles so that you pull the knees towards your chest, until they are close or touching the elbows. Hold the position for 3 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 times, and a set of 2-3.
Side Crunches on a Ball
Place one of your hips (say right), sideways, on an exercise ball and bend onto the ball. Please ensure that no other body part is touching the ball. Have something at the bottom of your feet to steady yourself.
Now, with your hands beside your ears, contract the left oblique muscles lifting the lower body up as far as possible. Hold for 3 seconds and get back to original position. Repeat for 10-12 times, and a set of 2-3.
Remember, Abs is the toughest muscle to work on and yearn for early results. Be patient and work hard, and you will be rewarded with a perfectly sculpted body.
Photo Credit: freemusclebuildingsecrets.com