Training abdominal muscles is not as easy as training other muscles. Every workout, every variation should impact the whole abdominal area. First thing is to stabilize the core, reduce love handles, shape the oblique and then sculpting the mid section; these are all what we need to do in order to get a sculpted look for the abdominal muscles. Let’s discuss about the 10 ab workouts to sculpt your core.
Abdominal muscles are three; first come the upper abs, second comes the mid section and finally the lower abs. Along with this three there are oblique muscles. Sp you need to train every muscle involved in abs. there are many workouts that sculpt your abs. Proper training of your abs will train your intercostals and the serratus.
10 Ab workouts to sculpt your core
Usually when you hit the gym you will be trained with different equipment for training the abs. Plank workout is the best suggested workout for training the ab muscles. This workout not only targets the abs but also trains your shoulders, legs and also your back muscles. So to perform a plank you need to select a flat surface and put a mat on the floor. Now lie on the floor so that you are looking at the floor. No keep your hands at the side of your chest and come to a push up position. Now keeping your body straight and legs straight, lift your body into air by supporting the whole body on the toes. Keep your body straight and parallel to the ground and look forward. Hold in this position as long as you can. Breathe slowly and tighten your abs and slowly release the air and lower your body to the floor. In this way you need to be doing this for initially for 30 seconds depending on your stamina and slowly increase the time of holding to 1 minute and keep going. Plank workout is an isometric workout which can be done at any place like at your home, park or at the gym. There are many other variations in this plank.
Crawling plank is similar to a normal plank but you need to keep your toes on a piece of cloth and assuming in the plank position you will be dragging your whole body with the help of your shoulders. In this workout you will be targeting your abs and also your shoulders. When you are performing this workout you need to keep your body completely straight. This is like a zombie crawling on the floor, so it is called as crawling plank.
You need to put the other hand on your hip. Or in another variation of plank you will be swinging your hand away from the chest, or simply keeps it in the air.
You can perform a reveres plank by keeping your legs on a ball or on the bench. Keeping your legs on the ball a balancing your body on the elbows will be a killer workout to train your total abs.
The twisting movements will always target the oblique and the intercostals. So you can do a cable twist for shaping your oblique muscles. To perform this you need to select a cable pulley with a minimum load. Now stand in front of the weight and hold the handle now stretch your hands straight and holding the handle with two hands pull the handle down to your left. This should be done by engaging your oblique muscles only you should not be rotation your hands or your upper body. Then bring the handle back to the starting position and twist the body to your right side. And keep doing it for a few repetitions on both sides. When you are performing this workout try to breathe out when you are twisting your body. For more impact on your oblique muscles try stretching your legs and bring the handle to the toe. This will make your body twist more and impacts the oblique muscles more.
In this workout you need to select a stick and keep it on your shoulder. Then stretch your hands onto the stick. Now keeping your legs a little wide twist your torso to the left and then to the right sides. Try to twist as much as you can. During this movement breathe out completely to squeeze your oblique muscles more. And keep your chest up and body straight while doing this workout. For more impact and force you can use a barbell in the place of a stick. These will give more impact on the oblique muscle. Be careful not to twist too log which will cause damage to the spinal cord.
For more impact you need to perform this in a seated position. To do this sit on the edge of a bench and keeping your hands stretched on the stick and twist your body to left and right. This seated movement will avoid the rotation of the lower body and hip which makes the twisting movement more intense.
There is another variation in this twisting, that is to bend your upper body and keeping your legs straight twist your upper body so that the left hand touches the right knee and the right hand touches the left knee. This movement is best suggested for reducing the love handles on your back.
Crunches are the basic workouts for training the abs. different ab muscles will be trained with different forms of crunches. Crunching involves bringing the upper body towards the lower body or bringing the lower body towards the upper body. There are different variations in crunching. Some crouching movements will target the total abdominal muscles and some crunching will target the oblique muscles along with the abdominal muscles.
These crunches will be done on the floor or on a bench. To perform these crunches you need to lie on the floor or on a bench and fold your knees and keep your hands behind your neck or head. Now slowly breathe out and lift your body straight and try to touch your chest to the knees. While performing this workout you need to keep your back straight to improve the intensity on the abdominal muscles. Slowly breathe in and lower your body to the starting position. Repeat this movement for a few repetitions. Don’t pull your body by involving the neck muscles.
You can perform some twisting crunches in this movement. To do this lie on the floor and bend your knees and keeping your hands on the head and perform crunches, but try to twist your torso so that the left elbow to the right knee and the right knee to the left elbow. This movement will target the intercostals and the oblique muscles.
Cable crunches will show impact on the overall ab muscles. This also shows the impact on the serratus and the intercostals. To perform this workout select a weight and hook a rope to the pulley and sit in a kneeling position in front of the weights stretch your hands to grab the rope. Now pull the rope towards your ears and hold it. This will hand the weight and creates more intensity while doing the workout. Now keeping your elbows near your ears, slowly bring your head near your knees, while performing this workout you need to engage only your abdominal muscles, and then don’t forget to breathe out for every contraction. If it is possible to hold for a few seconds at the position, try to hold, and then slowly stretch your body to the starting position. Make sure your elbows are not doing any work while doing this workout. Repeat this for a few repetitions. At the end, try to stretch your serratus and intercostals. You need to curl your back while doing this workout.
Decline crunches are very effective workouts for conditioning the lower abdominal muscles. This workout will show an impact on the legs and back also. To perform this workout you need to select a decline bench and lie on the bench keeping your head towards the declined side and the legs towards the inclined side. Now keeping your hands behind your head and perform normal crunches. These crunches can be done in a twisted way to target the oblique muscles. This decline crunches will provide you a long range of motion so this impacts the total ab section. For more intensity try doing the decline crunches by stopping in the middle without going down till the body touches the bench.
Reverse crunches are best suggested exercises for sculpting the lower abs as well as the mid section. The workout will target the thighs and the lower back also. To perform this exercise you need to lie on the floor or on the flat bench. Now hold something with your hands and pull your knees towards your chest. Try to lift your lower back while doing this workout. You can do the same workout on a declined table to increase the impact on the core and the lower abs.
Cycling workout will always strengthens your core muscles. You need to lie on the floor and keep your hands under the glutes and raise your legs in the air and pedal your legs to and from this will target the core part and also the quads. You can even perform this on a declined bench by keeping your head towards the inclined side and the legs towards the declined side.
This workout will target the mid section and the quad muscles. The workout also shows impact on the lower back. To perform this workout lie flat and place your hands under your glutes and then keeping your legs stiff raise them from the floor and rock the legs up and down alternating or both the legs at a time. For more intensity you can add some weight to your legs.
Hanging leg raise
Hanging leg rises will always impacts your core muscles and also your leg muscles. To perform this you need to select hanging straps and hook them to the bar. Now resting your elbows in those straps try to hang your body straight without touching the ground. Now slowly breathe out and pull your knees towards your chest. Hold it for a few seconds and lower your legs to the starting position. For an increased impact you can place a dumbbell between your legs by crossing them.
Another variation is keeping your legs stiff and then raises the legs to your front and holds it for a few seconds and then lower them back to the starting position. This movement will target the lower body and the oblique and the lower abs.
This is a different workout that targets the midsection and the oblique muscles. To perform this workout, lie on the ground and lift your body and bring the knees towards your chest. Now hold a plate or a dumbbell with your hands in front of you and keep your arms stretched. Now twist the upper body by twisting the weight to one side. Breathe out while doing this workout.
Side bends are best exercises for the love handles and the mid section training. You can perform this with dumbbells or plates or even kettle bells. Grab two dumbbells and hold them near to your thigh and lower the dumbbell to the side by bending your upper body and then bring back to the starting position and then again to the other side. This will stretch the oblique and intercostals. You can perform this in the cross way also, by touching the left knee with the right hand weight and the right knee with the left weight.
With all these workouts you need to include good protein in your diet. Stop eating more carbohydrates and fat in your diet. Eat foods that are rich in fat burning enzymes. Eat a balanced diet and drink more water to keep your body hydrated.