by Jack Kenefick on June 14, 2012
Probably the question I get asked most often is how to get a flat stomach and defined set of abdominals. Most of us think that a flat midsection is the main defining quality of a fit physique. There are many products on the market – pills, powders, shakes and contraptions that promise an easy way to get those well-defined abs that you see on the models in the commercials. The hard truth is that it takes hard work to get a well-defined set of abs.
Most people believe that it is a lot of sit-ups or other abdominal exercise that will shape and define those abs. However, more so than anything is having a low body fat percentage. You can have the most well developed set of abs, but if they are covered by a thick layer of body fat. A sound, well-balanced diet is 80% of the equation.
However, aside from a good nutrition plan, it is still important to have a good abdominal routine to develop those muscles so that when you do lean out, there’s something there to show off. In addition, a strong core is critical to proper posture and back support. But how do we obtain and keep a set of well-developed abs while keeping it fun? Nobody likes to do endless sit-ups and that is hard to maintain that level of discipline if it is boring and monotonous. So here are some cool exercises that are a lot of fun and promise to keep your abdominal workout interesting:
The following abdominal routine should be practiced at least two times, preferable 3 times a week. You want to take every exercise to the point of failure, meaning you are giving all your effort to continue the exercise and are unable to do another rep. Once you reach failure, you will want to rest for about 20 to 30 seconds before resuming the next set or the next exercise
Sitting on a bench and holding onto the bench with your hands, you want to lean back slightly and kick your legs out in front of you, keeping your legs and feet together. Once you kick your feet out in front of you, you want to bring your knees u to your chest, trying to touch your chest with the knees. Then you kick out again as far as you can. Do this 20 times if you can. This works the top of the upper thighs, lower abdominals and lower back. If you can do 3 to 4 sets of 20, you are good to go.
Standing with a broomstick or other staff behind your head on your shoulders, have your feet far apart for balance and twist your upper body back and forth, left and right as far as you can. You want to try to continue looking straight forward, so as to not get dizzy. Looking in the mirror will help keep your form in check. Twisting as much as you can left to right, right to left, you will feel this in your obliques. This will not eliminate the love handles for you guys or the muffin tops for you gals but it will shape and define them so when you lean out through cardiovascular exercise and proper nutrition, they will look great. Do this 30 times in each direction for a single set. Rest about 30 seconds and do it again. Do this for 3 sets.
Lying on your back with your hands on your cheeks (not behind your head) and your knees bent with your feet off the ground, you want to touch your LEFT elbow to you RIGHT knee and then your RIGHT elbow to your LEFT knee. This will require you to twist your torso right to left, thereby working the oblique muscles as well as your upper abdominals. Do 30 twists both ways for a single set. Rest about 30 seconds between sets and do two more times – 3 sets of 30 reps.
Sitting on the floor and half way between sitting fully upright and lying flat on the floor, you want to cross your arms over your chest. You are sitting on your butt on the floor, your legs are bent and your feet on the floor and your upper body is lying back half way. You then want to twist left your upper body left and right as much as you can for 30 twists. This works the lower back the upper abdominals and the obliques. 3 sets of 30 twists.
Sitting on the floor, lying back resting on your elbows, you want to kick one leg out at a time but moving your legs in a circular motion as if to peddle a bicycle. You want to do 30 circles on each leg, kicking out as far as you can. Again, try to do 3 sets of 30 circles. This works the hip flexors (upper things), the lower back and the lower abdominals.
Continue doing these exercises preferably 3 times a week and with proper nutrition, you should see a significant improvement in your abdominal definition within 6 weeks.
The use of any advice on this website is at your own risk. Please consult us, or any other professional, licensed personal trainer or your health care professional, like your doctor, first to see if the advice is applicable to your specific situation.
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