Exercising your abs is one of the cornerstones of excellent abdominals. Along with cardio, this is where you’ll be spending most of your time.
The secret to really good abs is not only in the exercises themselves, but also in the technique and training routine you incorporated them into.
Let’s take a look at some of the exercises.
The crunch: This is in my opinion the foundation of abdominal exercises. Stomach crunches have you laid on your back, knee’s bent with your feet flat on the floor. You can either put your arm’s crossed across your chest, so your hands are touching your shoulders, or by the side of your head. Once in position, you lift the top half of your body, but keep your lower back flat on the ground, to crunch your abdominal muscles.
You’ll know if you’re doing them right, because you’ll start to feel the burn right along your abs.
Stomach crunches alone, can be used to tone up your abs, but there’s a variation I like to throw in to really carve out that perfect figure.
Bicycle crunches; these almost exactly the same as normal crunches, except instead of lifting both shoulders off the ground, you only lift one. At the same time though, you’ll lift the opposite leg, and bring your elbow and knee together (do not worry about getting them perfectly together, just close). Then repeating for the other side.
You’ll know if you’ve got them, because not only will you feel the burn in your obliques (up the sides of your abdominals), but you’ll look like you’re pedaling a bike in the air. Here the name.
Personally, I use these two exercises exclusively, mixed with cardio (running & biking) to get my abs toned, but you’ll not want to use them haphazardly, you’ll want to incorporate them into a good workout routine.
For the beginner, I’d recommend just starting out with a session of standard crunches, until you’re comfortable doing 20-40 a time.
Then work on doing a set of standard crunches, followed by a set of bicycles.
Once you’re comfortable doing that, you can work on adding weight behind your head. First just to the standard crunches, then both, then do a set of each with weight, then a set of each without weight.
Finally work up to doing a set of normal crunches maximum weight till you have nothing left, a set of bikes half weight, till you have nothing left. Then more normal crunches without weight, till you’re done, and finally if you can manage any, as many bicycles as you can do. This is called a ‘superset’ because it incorporates many different sets. If you can manage 3 of these super set’s 2-3 times a week, you’ll be ripped in no time.