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The 5 best exercises for the abs!

Because we use less clothes in the summer, we end up showing some parts of our body. That’s why, during this season, we always remember the importance of having a flat belly, defined and without fat. True?

To get this belly, it’s important to be careful with your nutrition.

Therefore we’ve given you our tips to lose belly fat.  We gave you some options for foods and supplements to burn fat in the belly area.

However, diet and supplements may not be enough to achieve the desired results.

In this process, working the abdominal area is very important, so we’ve selected the Top 5 of exercises for the abs.

Choosing the best abdominal exercises will help you to define the abdominal area

The best exercises for the abs

We want to show you some exercises, that are as versatile as possible and that allow you the freedom to choose the place where you will perform them: at the gym, at home or on the street.

After doing these exercises, don’t waste everything by eating the wrong way, the results will take longer to appear!

You should always be careful about nutrition and avoid being too many hours without eating. Otherwise, even if you train a lot, you won’t achieve the expected results.

Some of these exercises should be tailored to each person, and furthermore it’s important to get physical and nutritional advice to optimize the results.

Are you ready to change your belly? Find out how!

The Top 5 of abdominal exercises

Nº5: Abdominal crunch

It’s one of the most known and one of the most used in school context (for example in physical education classes) and in the military world.

Although it’s very common and seems easy, there’s a technique associated with this exercise that should be respected.

This exercise allows us to work the rectus abdominis and the obliques (large and small).

Technique:

  • Lie with your belly up, flex your knees and place your hands on your chest or on the side of the head, which should be aligned with the spine. The feet should be flat on the floor and keep your abdomen contracted.

It’s important that you keep your eyes steady and your neck relaxed. Imagine an orange or a tennis ball between the chin and the chest. It will help!

  • Raise the shoulders from the surface where they are lying (which should be flat), flexing the spine or until you feel that the lower back starts to come off the mat. In this phase you should expire.
  • Inhale and lower the upper body slowly until the shoulder blades touch the floor again.

There are more variations of this exercise: support your feet on a Swiss ball (or fitball) or a flat (bench type) surface above the torso, for example. It will help you to work the lower abdominal area.

The partial abdominal is one of the best known and most common exercises

Nº4: Mountain Climbers

Imagine yourself climbing a mountain…It may be difficult but the simulation of the climbing movement will help you to work your abdominal area.

In addition, this exercise is very complete: it’s of top cardio level, and will help you to burn fat, while it allows you to work your arms, legs, upper body and chest.

It intends to work practically the entire abdominal musculature and helps to increase your endurance, flexibility, mobility and coordination.

This exercise is “all in one”. The explosion, intensity, gains of endurance and speed associated with this exercise make it often recommended by personal trainers.

Technique:

  • Plank position with the belly facing downwards and the arms extended. Keep your legs as stretched as possible and your abdomen contracted.
  • Pull one knee to the chest area while the other stays in the initial position.
  • Then the knee that went to the chest returns to the initial position and the one that was in the initial position makes the movement. The movement is alternated between one leg and the other.

There are several hypotheses about how to perform this exercise.

You can always increase the demand of your training.

One variation of this exercise that will allow you to work the oblique abdominal muscles is: pull the knee to the chest but towards the arm of the opposite side, so move the left leg in the direction of the right arm.

This exercise is based on the movements of climbers

Nº3 Bicycle crunches

This exercise is based on the above mentioned abdominal crunch but in this case the movements are alternated.

It’s extremely easy to perform and if you adapt a correct posture you will be able to work the abdominal area without damaging the spine.

The muscles worked are the rectus abdominis, obliques (large and small), iliopsoas and the anterior tibial.

Technique:

  • Lie belly up with your legs stretched, keeping your spine steady. Place the palms of your hands on the back of the neck keeping the neck relaxed throughout the process.
  • Raise the knees at the same time as the shoulder blades are raised: Bring the right elbow to the left knee. Keep your right leg stretched forwards.
  • Alternate movement: raise the right knee, bringing the left elbow to meet and stretch the left leg.
  • Repeat as often as necessary.

Attention! Don’t place your feet on the floor (of the leg that remains stretched) while you’re making the movement!

Bicycle crunches is identical to the partial abdominal exercise but with alternating movements

Nº2: Ab wheel rollout

Doing sit-ups using a wheel may seem easy but we can tell you that it isn’t!

This exercise is quite challenging and is considered to be one of the most difficult.

It allows to work several muscles at the same time: rectus abdominis, large dorsal, deltoid (posterior), pectoral, oblique, adductors, triceps … These are just a few examples.

Technique:

  • Place your knees on the floor holding the wheel with both hands and the knees resting on the floor.
  • Then move the wheel forwards by stretching the arms, always with the abdomen contracted. Inhale during this movement!
  • When the upper body is horizontal and almost reaches the floor, exhale and pull the wheel (without lifting it off the ground) until you return to the initial position.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

People with back problems (such as hernias) shouldn’t perform this exercise because of its intensity!

Another option is to do the exercise with a Swiss ball (or fitball) instead of the wheel, or with a simple towel, making it slide on the floor.

The ab wheel rollout can be performed with a bar or with the help of a Swiss ball or a towel

Nº1: Plank

It’s one of the most effective exercises for the abdominal area. At first it may seem easy, since it – at least the most common version – doesn’t involve movement. But it isn’t!

It’s an isometric exercise, so it consists of muscle contraction without performing joint movement.

It helps to work the posture and the balance and works several muscles. Some examples are: rectus abdominis, oblique (internal and external), quadriceps, (large) pectoralis, iliopsoas and transverse abdominal.

Technique:

  • Belly down and with your elbows (or the palms of the hands) on the floor, lift the body keeping the arms and the legs stretched.
  • Keep the abdomen always contracted and the spine straight. The neck should remain aligned with the spine. Pay attention to the hip position! Keeping your hips high will cause this exercise to lose effectiveness.

This exercise is very challenging and is a constant proof of overcoming: Try to withstand it the maximum amount of time and improve it every time you do it. Stay focused!

Curiosity: The record is held by the Chinese Mao Weidong who endured 8 consecutive hours in the plank position!

The most common version of the plank exercise doesn’t involve movement

In conclusion…

These exercises are quite varied and some of them will allow you to accelerate the burning of fat. We’ve selected these exercises to help you to achieve the desired summer body with an enviable six pack!

An advantage: you can do them anywhere and you don’t need special equipment, so start doing them right now!

Why not start with 3 sets of 20 repetitions of these exercises and maximum plank time?

You can always enjoy this training and complement with some arm exercises  in order to tone your upper body as a whole.

We want to see the results appear. Take a picture of your evolution and share it with us! Good training!

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The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About David Silva

David Silva
David Silva is a Personal Trainer and FIT and Life Coach. He uses his profession to inspire others and get them to achieve their goals, whether through his job or his writing. His motto is "A mission of life is a mission accomplished".

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