Six packs and a well-toned midsection aren’t only made in the gym. With the right exercises and form, you can also get the definition you want at home. It can take time and a lot of hard work but the results you’ll get from working on your abs can dramatically improve your life and confidence.
If you are planning on showing off your ripped six packs soon, here are 10 of the best exercises that shouldn’t be out of your workout routine.
1. Reverse Crunch
If you are having a hard time defining your lower abs, then the reverse crunch exercise shouldn’t be out of your routine. Unlike most types of crunches, this one doesn’t just focus on the upper abs but, instead, does more muscle shortening on the lower region of the Abdominis muscle.
You can make this exercise more challenging by inclining your upper body to 30-degrees or by adding weights to the routine.
2. Pull ups
The pull up is not only an effective exercise to get six packs but it’s also great in giving your entire body a good workout. For this one, you need to find a pull up bar that’s durable and sturdy enough to hold your body weight. The We R Sports® Chin Up Pull Up Sit Ups Power Tower is a good example.
On top of durability, your choice of pull up bar should also depend on its versatility and ease of installation. Since there are tons of choices available in the market, it’s a good idea to study the best pull up bar reviews first so you’ll know which brands are worth looking into.
3. Ab Wheel Roll
Each repetition of this exercise can work a minimum of 20 muscles. Aside from your abs, it can also workout your obliques and hip flexors to give you more definition in your midsection. Performing the exercise can also decrease your risk of injuries as well as lower back pain. It can even help you manage your weight and improve your stamina and flexibility.
For added challenge, you can elevate your knees on a raised surface. Another good idea to try is to use a resistance band on your wheels.
The pendulum offers the same set of benefits as your traditional crunches with added emphasis on your obliques. Unlike crunches, however, this one can be done in several ways. You can do it lying down or hanging in a pull up bar.
5. Seated Leg Tuck
The seated leg tuck is a simple routine yet it’s highly effective in targeting both your upper and lower abdominal muscles. Just a few repetitions of the exercise can give your midsection an overall workout.
To perform the exercise, you need to sit on a bench with your legs stretched out in front of you. You can either sit parallel or perpendicular to the bench as long as you are able to get a good grip on one of its sides. Position your body leaning backward to a 45-degree angle from the bench.
Once you are stable enough, bring your knees towards your chest while exhaling. Hold the position for a few seconds and inhale as you return to the initial position.
The plank is a good exercise that can work out your abdominal muscles without relying on any equipment. You only need your body weight and the right form to get great results.
There are a handful of ways to do the plank for six packs. Aside from the classic elbows and knees, you can also try the side plank and plyo side plank. A harder version of this exercise is known as the Russian Kettlebell Challenge or RKC Plank. This variation needs you to place your elbows further out in front of you and closer together. This tension adds more force on your abdominal muscles.
7. Exercise Ball Pull In
This exercise can give you the perfectly flat abs and six pack you are looking for since it mainly targets the Rectus Abdominis muscle. For this one, however, you’ll need to invest in a good stability ball.
To start, you have to position yourself on the ball with the top of your feet planted on it and the rest of your body supported by your hands and arms on the floor. Your body should be straight and positioned just like how you’d do a push up. Slowly tuck your knees to your chest without losing your feet’s contact with the ball. Hold the position for a couple of seconds before rolling the ball back.
8. Russian Twist
The Russian twist is one of those exercises that can effectively target your core and give your abdominal muscles a great workout. It’s simple and can be done in just a matter of few minutes each day. If you are just starting out, you can begin with 30 seconds and increase the time as you gain more strength. Aside from engaging your core, the Russian twist can particularly strengthen your internal and external obliques as well as your rectus abdominis muscle.
The sit-up is a classic exercise for six packs. If you’re feeling unenthusiastic about this one, you can do a plyometric sit-up where your feet rest on an inclined surface or place some weights on both of your hands. Suspension straps can also add some intensity to the routine. For a killer workout, you can incorporate burpees in your sit-ups, too.
For most programs intended for ripped abs, jack knife sit-ups are commonly included. It’s a comprehensive exercise that you can do to target the upper and lower sections of your abdomen.
10. Leg Raise
You can do the leg raise using parallel bars, lying down on a bench or the floor. For bigger and more defined muscles, you can increase either weight or height. Holding your legs with every raise can also impact your abdominal muscles so make sure you keep your abs tight as you lift them up. For added difficulty, you can add cables and bands or you can try spreading your legs into a V position after each raise.
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