5 Best Exercises to Work Your Abs and Tighten Your Core
If you happen to be one of those people who still do lots of crunches in the hopes of obtaining perfect abs…it may be time to stop in favor of something new and better.
That’s why we’d like to present you with these 5 new and improved ab exercises which are sure to be more effective.
The point is that these exercises aid in strengthening your core. Which means that, if done properly, you don’t have to worry about any back pain. They also help to increase one’s agility, so why not give them a try?
After all, the golden rule here is quality over quantity. Meaning, a few concentrated exercises will always be the better alternative to lots of old-fashioned crunches.
It is one of the best core-strengthening methods there are! If done right, of course. And here’s how:
1. The back should be flat, and the belly-button should be pulled in toward the spine.
2. Start off by lying face-down on your mat. Your palms should be positioned flat on the ground, and you should rest on your forearms.
3. Now just push off the ground, resting on the elbows and raising up onto the toes.
4. Rember, the back should be kept in a flat, straight line from one’s head to their heels.
5. In order to prevent the rear end from sagging in the middle or sticking up in the air, contract the abdominals and tilt the pelvis.
2. Mountain Climbers
If one were to explain this core-strengthening exercise, it is basically the more vigorous version of the traditional planking routine. If you are feeling ‘hard-core’ and wish to heighten the intensity even further, you can angle the knees toward the opposite shoulder.
1. Your hands should be placed apart at a width which is wider than your shoulders. This should be on the floor, in a standard push-up position.
2. Proceed by bringing one of your knees toward your chest, then return it to the initial position.
3. Now just quickly alternate between the two legs.
3. Russian Twist
A properly done set of this exercise makes one really ‘feel the burn’. You can make it even more effective by holding a dumbbell or a medicine ball in your hands.
1. Your starting position is a sitting one on the floor. The knees should be bent as when you are in a sit-up position. Your feet should slightly be off the ground and kept together.
2. The back should be off the floor at a 45° angle. Your torso should also be kept straight.
3. You should be holding a dumbbell or a medicine ball with your hands.
4. Proceed by swinging both arms from one side to the other. This should be in a twisting motion. Each swing counts as 1 repetition.
5. If you want a more challenging exercise, move slower.
4. Reverse Crunch / Knee Tucks
Many individuals choose the easier, quicker exercises, thus making the mistake of ignoring their lower abs. The irony in this is that it is precisely one’s lower abs which demand the most work. So do yourself a favor by giving them all the attention they require through this exercise.
1. Your starting position should be on your back, with the knees bent and touching. The feet should remain on the ground.
2. Now proceed by extending your arms over your head. They should be on either side of your ears, and the palms should be facing up.
3. Continue by exhaling and bringing the knees up toward the chest.
4. Next, all you need to do is lower the hips back to their initial position.
5. Side Bridges/Side Plank
This is another version of the traditional plank. Though, keep in mind that they are harder than they initially appear.
Even though you’re technically working on your entire core, the focus is on your waist.
1. Lying on your right side, place your legs and feet together.
2. Position the right arm under your body and lift the upper side of your body.
3. The left hand should rest on the left hip. Now just slowly raise the hips until you get a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
4. You can either perform reps or hold this position for as long as you are able.
Aditional Diet Tips
We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that no amount of exercise will do the trick if you stick to an unhealthy diet. That’s why it’s best to avoid processed carbs and fried foods in favor of fresh vegetables and lean meats. Your abs will be far better off, as will your general health.