The most effective ab workouts
If you are reading this with the hope of building well-defined abs. Like the picture of the celebrity, you saw on the cover of a fitness magazine.
That’s okay but are you really willing to put in the amount of work it takes to build the “fitness magazine-worthy abs?
Female abs exercises help to build core strength, however; the definition of abs is highly dependent on the individual’s body type. The female body is totally different from that of the male.
Therefore, if your workout partner is a man and you both engage in abs workout and within three months his abs are getting pronounce while you have nothing to show off.
Always remember that the body type plays an important role in highlighting the abs that you wish to see.
This does not mean that achieving your dream toned ab is impossible.
It only shows that to achieve this you must be willing to put in longer gym sessions. Consisting of exercises that will target your abs and help to make them visible.
To build up the abs and strengthen the core, you have to engage in exercises that target four muscles around the abdomen. As they are responsible for the structuring of well-defined abs. These four muscles include;
- The rectus abdominis:
This muscle is popularly known as the six-pack muscles. It is the most superficial muscle of the abdominal wall located vertically on the anterior wall of the abdomen.
- The transverse abdominis
This is a deep layer of muscle located anterior- laterally in the abdomen.
- The obliques (internal and external obliques)
The external and internal oblique muscles are located on each side of the abdominal wall.
Causes of belly fat (different types of bellies)
There are different kinds of belly fat triggered by a lot of things. If you have no idea about the kind of belly fat you have.
Then you will probably try everything possible to lose belly fat but achieve nothing.
It is important that you learn about the kind of belly fat you have. Then resolve the issue before engaging in the abs workout routine.
Types of Belly
- Stressed belly
Just like the name implies, this type of belly is caused by stress.
The fat deposition is mostly around the navel and in the anterior part of the abdomen. This type of belly feels more hard than soft to the touch.
- Hormonal belly
If you notice fat deposition around the sides of your abdomen and it feels soft to the touch, you have a hormonal belly. This is mostly caused by a stationary lifestyle accompanied by the consumption of lots of sugary substances and alcohol.
- Bloated belly
Most people experience a swollen belly during the day as a result of an allergy to a particular food they consumed. Slow bowel movement or an imbalance in the gut bacteria.
- Mom’s belly
This is caused as a result of pregnancy; some women’s stomach remains the same (I.e. looks pregnant) even after delivery.
- Alcohol belly
Overindulgence in alcohol leads to the build of visceral fat in the abdomen. This is harmful to the body as it can wrap around important organs in the body.
- Low belly
This kind of belly fat consists of a protruded lower belly but a slim upper belly. This kind of belly could be as a result of the kind of exercise engaged in (squats) or the type of diet consumed.
What to eat while engaging in the most effective abs exercises
While you hit the gym and constantly work out with the aim of building abs. It is also important that you improve your diet. Eat more foods that support weight loss and also helps to boosts body composition.
|Foods to eat to build abs||Why it is important|
|Whole grains||They are rich in fiber which is beneficial in bowel movement. Whole grains also support weight loss in the body.|
|Nuts and seeds||Nuts and seeds are a healthy choice for belly fat reduction as well as over-reduction of body weight.|
|Protein||Proteins help to build up muscles as well as the reduction of fat deposition around the body.|
|Healthy fat||The healthy fat in meals not only reduces the risk of heart diseases but also helps in controlling weight gain.|
|Fruits||Fruits are nutritious and packed with lots of minerals and vitamins. They are low in calories and also support weight loss.|
|Vegetables||Vegetables are nutrients dense and also helps to reduce body fat. They are an effective diet choice for abs building.|
10 best abs workout
To strengthen your core and build up your abs, try to engage in series of exercises that target the obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis.
These are the muscles that help to structure the abs and strengthen the core.
The dead bug is a core strengthening exercise, it helps to build stability in the core and also relieves back pain when correctly done.
How to perform a dead bug
Equipment required: A mat (acts as a cushion between your back and the floor).
- Lay on the mat with your back to the ground, fully extend your arms over your chest.
- Lift your hands, ensure that your hands are positioned directly above your shoulders.
- Bring your knees to a 90-degree angle, your knees should be directly over your hips.
- Exhale and extend your right leg and left arm till they are slightly above the floor.
- Inhale and bring them back to their original position.
- Repeat procedure with left leg and right arm.
- Simultaneously engage your arms and legs in the exercise.
This is a great exercise that helps to build core endurance and stability, it is also effective in building up abs if the form is accurately done.
There are different variations of the plank exercise, ensure that you begin with the easier form before advancing to other more difficult variations.
How to perform a basic plank?
- To perform a high plank, get down on your knees with your arms fully extended.
- Extend your legs and lift your knees from the floor. Your bodyweight should be supported by your toes and palms.
- Don’t sag your back and ensure that you keep your neck in a neutral position to avoid pain later.
- Engage your core (tighten your core when engaging in this exercise).
This is an abdominal exercise that helps to build core muscles, this exercise is also effective in building up well-defined abs.
To receive the benefits of this experience you must ensure that you get the proper form to avoid pain or injuries.
How to engage in a sit-up
- Sit erectly on a mat with your knees at a 90-degree angle and your feet planted firmly on the floor.
- Slowly lean back till your upper back comes in contact with the mat.
- Your hands should be placed on either side of your thighs.
- Ensure that your feet are kept in a straight position facing upwards.
- Make sure your lower back also touches the mat as you lie back to avoid any kind of injury.
- Exhale, keep your neck in a neutral position, and engage your core when sitting up.
- Make sure your shoulders are not tensed when you engage in the sit-up position.
- Inhale and return to the beginning position.
The flutter kick is an exercise that helps to build the muscles of the lower abdominal wall. It builds strength and stability, a perfect example of what it looks like is a “swimming stroke”.
How to perform a flutter kick?
- You should use a mat to serves as a cushion between your back and the ground.
- Lay on your back with your hands extended by your sides and your palms facing the floor.
- Lift your legs off the floor (45-degree angle), ensure that your toes point forward.
- Lift your shoulders, head, and neck slightly off the ground.
- Lower one leg, raise it back up, and lower the other leg.
- Repeat this pattern alternatively with both legs.
The hollow hold is an exercise that targets the muscles of the abdominals, it aims to build core strength and stability.
How to perform a hollow hold?
- To perform a hollow hold, use a mat to support your form and acts as a cushion between your back and the floor.
- Lay flat on your back, engage your core by contracting them.
- Extend your legs and arms away from your body.
- Lift your shoulders and legs slowly off the ground but ensure that your lower back remains on the floor.
- Hold this position for 60 seconds (beginner) then return to starting position.
- You can advance to longer minutes when you can comfortably hold the form for 60 seconds.
Although this can be classified as a full-body workout, it also helps to build core stability and strength. This exercise targets lots of muscles in the body including the abdominals.
How to perform mountain climbers
- Begin in a plank position, your body weight should be distributed between your hands and toes.
- Contract your abs to ensure that it is engaged.
- Slowly bring up your right knee to your chest.
- Alternate between the two legs (I.e bringing a knee to the chest).
- Increase your pace as you progress.
A reverse crunch is an advanced form of the standard crunch (intermediate level). It can be easily added to any ab workout as it helps to build a well-toned abdomen.
It is important that you learn about the proper way to engage in a reverse crunch in order to avoid hurting yourself.
How to perform a reverse crunch
- Lie with your back on a mat, place your hands by your side.
- Lift your legs up and bend your knees such that your knees are directly over your hips (resulting in a 90-degree angle).
- Your lower back should remain fixed on the mat.
- Ensure that you contract your abs as you curl your hips and knees bringing it towards your chest.
- Keep your shoulders and neck in a relaxed position on the mat as you curl.
- Keep your knee at a 90-degree angle while you curl.
- Inhale and return to the beginning position.
- Repeat procedure.
This exercise helps to build core stability, strength and also strengthens the spine. The Russian twist targets the muscles of the abdomen and twists them resulting in a tone and well-defined muscle.
How to perform a Russian twist
- Sit erectly on a mat and extend your legs.
- Slightly bend your knees creating a V with your legs and torso.
- Intertwined your hands and hold them to your chest or side.
- Contract your abs in order to engage them.
- Twist your torso from your right to your left side with the help of your abdominals.
- Ensure that your legs are steady and do not move them while twisting.
V-ups are great core strength exercises they help to build abs, improves core stability, and also strengthens the lower back.
How to perform a V-up
- Sit on a mat with your feet extended and placed on the floor.
- Slowly lift your legs off the floor and bend your knees slightly (I.e. 45-degree angle). This should form a v shape.
- Extend your hands toward your legs but do not bend your back.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds(beginner) before advancing to a longer duration.
- Return to the starting position and repeat the procedure.
This exercise targets the muscles of your abdominals building strength and stability within them.
How to perform a scissors kick
- Use a mat to perform this exercise.
- Lie with your back on a mat and extend your legs, put your hands by your side with your palms facing downwards.
- Contract your abs in order to engage it during the exercise.
- Lift your legs off the ground at a 45-degree angle.
- Ensure that your shoulders and neck remain in a relaxed position.
- Lower one leg to the floor while you lift the other leg up.
- Alternatively, repeat the process between the two legs.
To engage in the most effective abs workout, you need to eat healthily and sleep properly.
Engaging in workouts with the aim of building abs or strengthening the core offers so much more benefits than you can imagine.
Most core exercises help to build balance and improve posture. To build well-toned and structured abs, you must be willing to put in efforts and time in order to achieve your dream abs goals.