Maybe you already know, but crunches and sit-ups are never going to give you rock-solid abs on their own. Research has found that many of the popular movements which are supposed to get you a chiseled midsection immediately, don’t actually produce any significant results, and place plenty of strain on other parts of the body like the neck, spine, and the lower back. Instead, you need to first try harder to eat correctly and reduce your body fat by burning more calories than you consume.
There are some seasoned bodybuilders that would even go as far as to say that the abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. Next, you will need to engage in a different workout routine which targets each of the lower and upper abdominal muscles and works them from all the possible angle.
There is something more to the abdominal area than the six-pack: this muscle group contains many interconnected muscles which run up the back and they stretch down to the butt, and they all should get a piece of the action in case you want to get the kind of ripped stomach that you see on magazine covers.
Forget about the crunches and just try this program of 6 exercises which will effectively target all the abdominal muscles and promote greater fat loss and an improved muscle building response than most of the traditional abs exercises. You could do them in straight sets, while resting about 30 seconds between sets, or in a circuit without resting between exercises.
Are you ready to build a washboard midsection? Make your abs scream by trying the routine below!
- Flutter kicks
You need to lie on the back with the head and relax on the ground, arms extended by your body. Tighten the abs and hold the legs straight out and lifted around 6 inches above the ground. Start the movement by lifting higher the left leg than the right, then lower it as you are lifting the right leg higher. This should be done very quickly, in a scissor-like motion.
You could also tuck your hands underneath your glutes for a better control of the movement. One kick with every leg constitutes one rep. you need to perform 5 sets of 15 repetitions.
- Straight leg raises
Lie on the back with the head and back on the ground and your legs extended. Keeping your knees straight and close together, you need to slowly lift your legs straight up towards the ceiling just until they are perpendicular to the floor, if you can. Hold the position for a couple of moments, keeping contracted the lower abs. you need to slowly return to the starting position.
- Side raises
You should lie on the side with a straight body and have the body weight distributed on the forearm. The feet should be on top of each other. Lift your hips up off the floor, powering the movement with your forearm, so that your entire body forms a straight line, with the neck and head aligned with the rest of your body.
Hold in this position for a couple of moments, and then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. You should perform 5 sets of 15 reps.
- Oblique crunches
You need to lie on your right side with the legs on top of each other, and you need to bent the knees. Place your left hand behind the head. Start by moving your left elbow up and crunch as high as possible.
You should hold the position for a few moments, focus on the contraction in the oblique. Slowly return to the starting position and you should do a few more repetitions on the left side, then you need to switch and repeat on the right side as well. You need to perform 5 sets of 30 reps (15 reps on one side).
- Alternating elbow-to-knee
Lie on the back and cross your arms across the chest so that your right-hand is resting on the left shoulder and the left-hand is resting on the right shoulder. Crunch up and bring your right elbow towards the left knee, then drop back to the floor. After that you should alternate to the other side and bring your left elbow towards your right knee. You will need to perform 5 sets of 30 reps (15 reps on one side).
- Reverse hip crunch thrusts
You need to lie on your back with your neck and head resting on the floor, your knees should be bent and the feet flat. Your arms need to be by your sides. Keeping a tight core, you need to slowly roll your legs up towards the ears, bringing the hips up towards you. You need to hold the position for a couple of seconds , then slowly lower your legs back to the floor. You should perform 5 sets of 15 reps.
These exercises are very simple yet very powerful and the high number of sets is guaranteed to get your mid-section burning. Therefore, if you want to rock some impressive abs, start sweating right now!
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