With the prevalence of six-pack abs in the media by everyone from Hugh Jackman and Matthew McConaughey, to Janet Jackson and Beyonce Knowles, society as of late treasures that elusive flat defined stomach look. We can thank high resolution for our cultural transition from portly praise to abdominal admiration.
After all, before Hollywood got huge in the 1900s, as a culture we appreciated a little meat on our bones because it represented comfort, success, and good health. Now that we get to feast our eyes daily on tough-guy actors, beautiful actresses, rock stars, and supermodels, we’ve come full circle into the Washboard Era.
Some people have difficulty getting six-packs, and others have trouble believing that abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym, but this doesn’t downplay the importance of exercising and strengthening the core. Having strong muscles in your abs and back make it easier for you to do everyday tasks; from lifting your kids (and pets) to carrying your groceries.
A solid core can also help you to maintain good posture and prevent back pain. As important as exercising the core is, crunches are boring. Keep reading to find out five great exercises you can use to strengthen your core.(more…)
The problem with most rotational movements is that they produce shearing forces on your lumbar spine. One of the foundations of biomechanics is that you don’t place your spine into a simultaneous state of rotation, flexion, and side bending, and you especially don’t add an external load.
This eliminates a number of popular abdominal exercises such as dumbbell side bends and the twisting abdominal machine. Exercises like the Russian twist should be performed with care, making sure that the trunk is flexed rather than the spine.
There is a quick and easy solution to the inherent problems with twisting exercises – don’t twist.
Want thick, dense abs that stand out like a washboard? Want a ripped midsection with veins and shredded striations? No? How about this: Want to look good naked?
Well, you will never achieve any of those goals if you train your abs once a week with three sets of crunches for 100 reps, or if you eat like a horse. Avoid these 6 common abdominal training mistakes and your abs will dial in. Whether you are a bodybuilder, an athlete, or a novice, chances are you are making several of these mistakes in your training right now. Take heed!
Finally I was able to finish the conclusion to my best abs exercises series. If you haven’t already, you can read the Top 10 Best Abs Exercises Part 1. Then don’t forget to hit the Top 10 Best Abdominal Exercises Part 2.
Here is my list of the second 5 of my favorite 10 ab exercises that you can use to get 6-pack abs. Perform these exercises on a regular basis, mix them up, use different speeds, tempos, angles, and positions to get a full workout. Always try to mix it up from workout to workout.
Here are 3 ways you can combine these exercises for different workouts:
Choose 5 exercises that work in different plains of motion and perform them all in a continuous circuit. Rest only 1 minute after the circuit and not at all during the circuit. Repeat 3 times.
Figure out a way to alter each of these exercises to perform them hanging. You can hang from your hands, arms, legs, or feet. To hang from your feet, go get yourself some gravity boots.
Superset each one of these ab exercises with an exercise from your regular upper or lower body workout routine. Do 3 sets of each superset. I used this method to increase the circumference of my calves by 1.5 inches in 6 months.
That is quite enough out of me for now. Go ahead and read about the 5 exercises and then figure out how to work them into your routine.
Here is the long awaited follow up to the Top 10 Best Ab Exercises Part 1 and the precursor to the Top 10 Best Abs Exercises Part 3. I would like to introduce 5 of my favorite 10 ab exercises, that you can use to get a 6-pack abs look. Do these exercises regularly, mix it up, use different speeds, tempos, angles, and positions to get a full workout. Always try to progress from workout to workout.
Here are 3 ways you can gauge progress with abdominal exercises:
Try to complete more reps in a given time period. For example, do as many fold ups as possible in 60 seconds. Try to break your personal record (PR) each workout.
Try to complete more total reps each time you perform the exercise. For example, week one do 3 sets of 10, week 2 do 3 sets of 12, week 3 do 4 sets of 10, week 4 do 3 sets of 15, etc…
If it applies, try to add weight to the exercise by holding a plate or dumbbell on your chest or behind your head, or use a weighted vest. You can also add weight to your legs with ankle weights. Try to use more weight, or complete more reps with the same weight, each time.
Part 1 of this series was long and tedious, so I won’t put you through any babble-writing. On to the exercises…
Everyone knows that to have visible abs, a good clean diet is absolutely essential to get rid of the fat covering them. However, this article is about creating bullet proof abs, not flimsy beach abs. The type of abs that are useful in sports, taking punches to the stomach, and that make for a strong core.
Having a strong core helps prevent back pain, so don’t skimp on regular abdominal work!
Having the strength to hold your body in a certain position is key in several ways. There are examples of static hold training being useful for every day situations, and for athletic endeavors.
When you’re driving, activating your core to support your spine will release stress on your back, and bring your shoulders into better alignment. When you are rock climbing and stabilizing your body to keep it from moving, or trying not to move your upper torso back and forth while running… static holds are everywhere.
Some key exercises to perform are planks, both on your hands in the push up position, on your elbows, and on your sides using one hand. An even more advanced position is raising one leg on your side – known as the starfish pose (right) – which causes a lot of imbalance and seriously engages your core.
Still too easy? Try adding a weight vest or holding a dumbbell or kettlebell overhead with your free arm.
Frustrated? Tired? Upset? Ready for change? If you’re answering all of these questions with a loud YES from your living room, then you are in good company. And that’s why I keep writing these pieces, honestly — there’s a lot of frustration going on.
I look down at a body in progress and I think about everyone else doing the same. Are we on track? Are we falling off the mark? It just depends on your goals. But if you’re dreaming of abs, dreaming of a nicely sculpted body from top to bottom, then you need this guide too.
I know that it’s time to think differently about the way we work out, but in order to start down that path, you have to know what you’re up against.
Nowadays, it seems everyone is after a toned midsection. Some people won’t even stop until they achieve shredded washboard abs. A six pack has come to be an important quest for many persons, however, many are misled as to the method to obtain it.
One common misconception is that cardiovascular exercise is the most important aspect of dialing in a six pack. Another misconception is that doing 1000 crunches a day is most important. Wrong on both accounts! Diet possibly plays the greatest role in obtaining a six pack. Let’s see why.
Do you see these people walking around all day long, who appear not to be that fat, but whose bellies stick out like they are preggo? This happens because their internal abdominal muscles are weak and loose. Don’t let this happen to you.
The best way to flatten your belly is to work your invisible abdominal muscles. The transverse abdominis lies beneath your rectus abdominus; the rectus abdominus of course being the muscle that most people refer to as “the six-pack”.
When you suck in your stomach and your waist appears to be flatter, the muscle responsible for this is indeed the transverse abdominis. The good news is that the transverse abdominis can be trained with exercise.