Common ab exercises that you can easily follow
Everyone loves a good stomach workout because it’s the best way to get rid of belly fat and make your abs looks good. Almost everyone is known to be searching for ab workouts on the Internet, or otherwise, in order to find out about new and effective exercises that can help them to get a flat stomach.
Before you begin with your abs routine, here are some things that you should know:
- Diet and Abs Go Together – It is vital for people to understand that the most rigorous of abdominal exercises can fail to give the correct results, unless and until you start eating the right kind of food. What you eat has a direct impact on your health and fitness levels; a high-calorie and high-carb diet would mean that the fat content in the body would be high, making it difficult for the muscles to develop. It is vital to switch to a protein-rich diet and cut down on all elements that might be causing your weight to gain or your stomach to be fat. A good idea would be to take the advice of a dietician or a nutrition expert on this, so that you have a customized diet plan made for yourself, keeping in mind your fitness levels, recovery rate, medical history, food preferences etc.
- Cardio is Equally Important – Cardio exercises play a crucial role in building your stamina and prepping your body for any kind of muscle development activity. It is a good way to keep your metabolism going up and ensuring that no fat retention happens once you start with a proper training program. In most cases, a trainer would make you do cardio for at least 5 or 10 minutes before making you do belly fat exercises. Some would also recommend alternating the sets of your ab routine with that of cardio exercises in order to keep loosening the fat simultaneously for you to work on your abs well. When alternating the sets with cardio, it may not necessarily mean running on the treadmill, but also jumping jacks, step-ups and many other forms of keeping the heart rate up.
- Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Body – How would it be if you had a flat stomach but the rest of your body was still fat? You obviously wouldn’t want to have the wrong body proportions, as the idea is to look good overall. This means that you can’t ignore the training for the rest of your body. Doing abs everyday is not going to take you anywhere; it will only damage your muscles more than doing any good because of lack of recovery. Instead, alternate your ab +cardio days with that of weight training days, such that you can give equal importance to the rest of your body as well. You will also notice that your body fitness levels go steadily higher when you give importance to your full body and all the muscles are in synergy together.
Common Ab Exercises
To workout your stomach, there are some common ab exercises that you can easily follow.
- Planks – They form an important part of your core exercises and are a good way to get a flat stomach. The key here is to understand how to balance your body properly. Correct posture and technique is vital to making planks work for your body. And of course, there are many different variations for you to try, ranging from suspended planks to side planks to kettlebell side-row planks to up-down planks etc. Regardless of the variation, the idea is to keep your core activated and use it for all the balance.
- Crunches – Crunches too need to be done with the right form and technique, if you want them to work for you. Breathing patterns play a crucial role in crunches; you need to inhale and exhale at the correct times for the muscles to work and develop. If you are not sure about how to do crunches, then it is advisable to take training for sometime, at least till your form and technique is not correct. Once you understand the basics of how to do them, you can try different variations during your ab routine and do piano crunches, leg-up crunches, knee-ups, cycle-crunches, ball v-ups etc.
- Leg Raises – These could mean simple leg raises while you lie down on your back straight, or alternate legs going up, or other variations that include holding dumbbells or kettlebells with your feet and doing the raises. Again, there are many different ways to customize these exercises and make them interesting and fun for you. These form particularly good lower ab exercises.
Body-Weight Vs. Free-Weight Vs. Machine
Many people question what is more effective – doing simple crunches, doing it with weights or doing it on the machine. If you enter a gym, you will probably get intimated with the range of equipment and would definitely wonder if torso rotation on a machine is better for your ab routine or doing it with weights might give more results.
The truth is, all of these exercises benefit your body in their own different ways. While machines are a great way to keep your posture intact allowing for little or no room for unnecessary movement of the body. Free-weights and body-weights build your confidence faster and help you create different variations and combinations better; there is something nice about seeing the weight of the dumbbells go higher in your arms as you progress and being able to combine 2-3 different variations together to increase the complexity of your routine.