One of the most frustrating aspects of doing abdominal exercises for most people is that results are seen for the upper abs but not for the lower abs. The reason is that the wrong exercises are being performed.
To see transformation in both the upper and lower abdominal muscles, as well as oblique muscles, it becomes essential to do core ab exercises. Not only would muscles become toned and tight but also stronger. Of course, for optimal results, a person would need to eat a well-balanced diet and incorporate other types of exercises in the workout regimen.
Just as with the type of core ab exercises a person chooses, the frequency in which the exercises are performed is just as critical. Expert trainers recommend the when just getting started, the workout schedule should consist of no more than three days in the gym but for people already in shape, five days.
In addition, a beginner should use just two to three different core ab exercises while someone with experience could do between four and five. One important note is that regardless, the body should always be listed to, meaning if at any time pain was felt, it should be an indicator that too much was being done too quickly or that core ab exercises were not being done correctly.
Additionally, if a person sees little or no results within a four to six week period, it would be time to switch things up by choosing different core ab exercises. While the exercises listed below should provide results for everyone to some degree, sometimes a person’s body simply does not respond as anticipated. Instead of becoming frustrated or feeling defeated, a change usually does the trick to get things rolling.
Ideal Exercise Choices
a) Bicycle Crunch – The great thing about this particular exercise is that it requires no workout equipment, making it something that could be performed at home, the gym, or even a hotel room while travelling. Of all core ab exercises, this one has also been the most studied and shown among the most effective. For this, the individual would lie flat on the floor, pressing the lower back to the ground and placing the hands behind the head.
The knees would be raised about 45 degrees, followed by pedaling in the air, as if on a bicycle. However, the key to this exercise would be for the person to touch the right elbow to the left knee and the left elbow to the right knee, as each knee rises. For this, 10 repetitions consisting of pedaling one minute and resting two minutes should be done.
b) Captain’s Chair – Another one of the most effective core ab exercises uses a special piece of equipment found in most gyms known as the “Captain’s Chair”. After getting into position with the flat part of the lower arms on the armrest of the chair, the knees would be bent upwards 45 degrees.
Using slow and controlled movements, the legs would be straightened, and then again, the knees bent and lifted. The goal would be to complete 10 repetitions in 10 sets although a beginner should only complete four to six sets initially.
c) Resistance Ball Ab Crunch – Years of research have yielded sound information about the value of working abdominal muscles with a resistance ball. Therefore, this particular exercise is a great choice for toning and strengthening. The individual would start by sitting on the ball while keeping both feet planted on the floor.
Then, the ball should be allowed to roll backwards slowly to allow the individual to lie on the ball until the thighs and torso end up parallel to the floor. Next, the abdominal muscles would be tightened while lifting the torso upwards 45 degrees. The recommended regimen would consist of 10 repetitions in six to eight sets.
d) Vertical Leg Crunch – The great thing about this exercise is that in addition to the incredible workout it provides upper and lower abdominal muscles, it also targets the internal and external oblique muscles. This exercise is done by lying on the back while keeping the legs extended but with the knees bent slightly.
The shoulder blades would then be lifted while contracting the ab muscles. With the legs in a fixed position, the torso would be lifted up toward the knees and then lowered slowly. For the best results, the goal would be to finish 12 to 16 repetitions in 10 sets but again, less for someone just getting started.