No matter what exercise you do, Abs strengthening is vital for preventing injuries, reducing lower back pain, maintaining a good pose, and improving overall performance in other athletic quests.
Out of the various Abs exercises available out there, we came out with 5 best Ab workouts that can give you the core muscle strength for better fitness. A study carried out by San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab looked into the electromyography activity results collected for popular workouts and found five effective Ab exercises.
We share with you these five favorite moves that can help you totally transform your core. For you to realize these results, it’s necessary that you carry out each exercise at all available angles.
Your midsection is a group of muscle that includes:
Internal and external obliques–that help you rotate your torso from one side to another and flex your trunk.
Traverse abdominis–that which envelopes your stomach front and side in a corset way.
Rectus abdominis–the long flat muscles at the front of your abdomen connecting the sternum of the pubis area
For you to get the best out of your Ab workout, you must do Abs exercise targeting these various muscle groups.
We found the following five exercises to use your workout time giving the best Ab workout results:
1. Bicycle Crunch
This is the right way to target your rectus, abdominis, and oblique.
It strengthens your obliques, boosts abdominal activity compared to the traditional crunch workout that includes obliques and lower stomach. To do this exercise first, lie on your back and pull your left knee towards the chest, extending your right leg in the air at 45 degrees to the floor. Curl off your shoulders and head from the mat while your hands are behind your head, twisting toward the left knee. Now reverse your leg position, twisting toward your right knee. Do three sets of 15-20 reps. You can vary your crunches from bicycle to reverse and oblique to target your body’s multiple muscle groups.
2. The Plank:
Plank boosts your abdominal activity and exercises your back muscles. Maintain a strict plank position, with your hips up, your glutes and core braced, and your head and neck relaxed. Breathe slowly and deeply, holding the position for as long as you can.
If you’re a beginner to planking and want to get the most benefits, then doing three sets of planks of 60 seconds each would be enough. This is an excellent point for moving to more difficult variations. You don’t want to risk injuring yourself as you’re doing it for the first time.
Planking is one of the best exercise choices you can make if you want to stimulate your entire body. Done daily, you end up burning more calories than other workouts for abdominal muscles like pushups. A daily plank workout ensures burning higher energy amount even when you’re resting.
3. Russian Twist
The goal of this exercise is to target your torso and core (spinal stabilizers) muscles. It also helps enhance your torso rotational movement and improves isometric control of the core.
Sit on your mat with your knees bent and heels touching on the ground. Your torso should form a 45° angle to the ground and at the top of the crunch position. Now twist your torso from side to side, moving in a smooth and controlled way. Twist your torso as far as possible to the left. Now reverse the motion as far as you can go to the right. That counts to one rep, do 3 sets of 8-12 reps for a complete Russian twist workout.
4. Dead Bug
This exercise derives its name from how you look when doing it, like a dead bug that is lying on its back with legs in the air. This exercise is for strengthening your core muscles–rectus abdominis, obliques, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis–all together provide a firm foundation to your limbs for maintaining good form while running.
At first, dead bug exercise might appear easy during your initial couple of reps, but once your core engages, you’ll be astonished to find how hard it is. Go for three sets of 5-10 reps on either side or until you tremble in your abs.
5. Crunches on Exercise Ball
Crunches on an exercise ball are as effective as traditional crunches but do not target rectus abdominis muscles significantly. However, crunches on an exercise ball will give your abs a more even workout by hitting more of your core muscles.
To begin, sit on the ball and then move your feet out until your back lies on the ball, with your thighs now parallel to the floor. Your feet should be directly under your knees and your legs, making a right angle at the knees.
Once in a balanced, comfortable position, put your hands behind your head. Your hands are used to support your head — not to pull it up. Make sure your spine does not curl up during your movement. Involve your core muscles and keep them engaged in the entire exercise.
While your core is engaged and your spine neutral, lift your shoulders up a few inches, then lower them back to the starting position. Do three sets of 8-10 reps.
Adopt these 5 Ab workouts to achieve improved overall performance in other athletic exercises, better posture, and reduced back pain and injuries.