Having a chiseled six-pack is the fitness equivalent of “having arrived.” You may be strong…you may be big…but all the cool kids have killer abs. And it’s okay if you want some too. There’s a problem though. And it has everything to do with why we don’t see many people with lean, defined cores.
Focusing on your training on the abs can often feel like an exercise in frustration. Unlike, say, biceps, attaining abs comes down to a combination of diet, training and overall core strength. Plus, any core exercise that’s working the musculature of the shoulders, hips, and midsection will improve your abs. But there are times when you’ll want to hit the abs hard-perhaps at the end of a workout or at the end of a cardio session when you still have a little left in the tank and you really want to polish off your physique. Here give you the ultimate one of the best exercises to tone your abs faster.
The Ultimate- One of the Best Exercises to Tone Your Abs Faster
By keeping your belly button drawn in and challenging your stability throughout your shoulders, core, and hips, you’re building strong abs. Lie in a prone pushup position with forearms resting on the floor. Your elbows should be under your shoulders and bent 90 degrees. Push up off the elbows, tucking your chin so your head in line with your spine and belly button drawn in. hold for one minute. 2 sets of 60-second holds, with 60 seconds of rest between sets.
There are many reasons to like leg raise variations, but one is their scalability. You can start doing bent knee raises in the Roman chair or ab straps to focus on the lower core, work up to straight leg raises, and then move to a hanging bar. By the time you can do full straight-leg toes-to-bar raises, your entire core will have the strength for days. That’s not the only way to progress, though. You can also increase the degree of difficulty by holding a medicine ball between your knees or ankles, which allows you to train in a lower rep range. No matter the variation, get your legs as high as possible on each rep without using momentum to swing them up. Do this move first or second in your routine for 3 sets of 10-15 reps. If using a medicine ball, try a drop set simply by letting go of the medicine ball when you hit failure.
The crunch is a classic because it works. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head, elbows facing out. With your low back on the floor, use your ab muscles to lift your upper body as far as you can. Hold the pose, then slowly return to the floor. Do three sets of 10-12 reps. Rest for 30 seconds in between all ab exercises.
You want four to eight key moves in each workout. Be sure to target the upper and lower abs, the oblique muscles along your sides, and the back. The “bicycle” is one of the best. Lie on your back and “pedal” in the air. Raise one shoulder as if trying to touch the opposite knee. Repeat on the opposite side for two sets of 12 reps. Keep your elbows back, and your lower back on the floor.
If you’d like your rear view to be as buff as your abs, try this move for sculpting the gluteal muscles. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Contract your abs and glutes as you raise your hips off the ground. Press your heels into the floor, and avoid arching your back. Inhale and slowly lower yourself to the ground. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
Start in pushup position, with the balls off your feet on the ground. Alternate driving your knees forward to their corresponding arms for 30 seconds. Keep your hips down for the entire motion. Like a mountain climber working a wall, you’re using the abs and hip flexors to climb. 2 sets of 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest between sets.
Stand with your arms at your sides, feet hip-width apart. Tighten your abs, and raise your right knee up toward your chest. Keeping the knee-high, try to cross your right leg over the left. Avoid rotating the left hip. Now bring your right leg back toward the right side of the room, opening the right hip. Return to starting position. Do five to 10 reps on each side.
The lunge is a great multitasking move — it targets the abs, butt, quads, and hamstrings all at once. With feet together, slowly lift the right leg and step forward, placing your right foot firmly on the floor. Lower the hips until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure your right knee doesn’t push forward in front of your toes. Slowly return to standing. Aim for eight to 12 reps, and repeat on the other side.
To trim enough belly fat to reveal your developing abs, you’ll probably need to cut back on calories. But that doesn’t have to mean giving up meat. Lean cuts of pork, lamb, and beef are loaded with protein to help you stay full longer. Fish, beans, and nuts are also good protein sources. A healthy portion is about the size of your fist.
Kneel on your hands and knees, with your fingers facing forward. Tighten the core muscles, and raise the right leg until it is parallel to the floor, not higher than the hip. At the same time, raise the left arm until it is parallel to the floor. Hold briefly. Then lower to starting position, and repeat on the other side. One rep includes a full cycle of both sides. Do three sets of 8-12 reps.
This full-body, pushup-like exercise gives you all the benefits of pushups while also challenging your cardiovascular system and ratcheting up the intensity of your workout. From a standing position, squat, place your hand on the ground and jump your feet out into a pushup position. Perform a pushup, and then jump your feet to your hands. Then jump as high as you can, throwing your hands over your head. 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.
Your core muscles need oxygen to work at full capacity, so be sure that you keep breathing. As a general rule, you want to inhale on the easiest part of the move (on the way down from a crunch) and exhale when you have to exert the most force (on the way up on a crunch).