With the sun finally edging closer to the northern hemisphere, it’s time to shed the fat accumulated during hibernation and work up those abdominals. Whether you’re just starting out, or would simply like to see more progress from your ab workouts, the following information can help steer you in the right direction.
Before moving on to discussing the 10 most effective ab workouts, it’s important to look at a few fundamentals when it comes to your mid-section. First of all, many people try workout their abs every day when really they should be treated like any muscle group and given time to repair and strengthen. Overworking won’t do you any favors. However, when it comes to how often to workout, some people get by with one ab session a week, while others train their abs two or three times per week. Experiment to find out what works best for you.
Generally, when using a machine or weight it’s best to aim for 8-12 reps when working out your abdominal muscles. However, for endurance type exercises such as crunches, ab rollers, planks and such, you’ll probably automatically go for the maximum reps you can push out per set – or in the case of plank based exercises – a longer time. As for isolating the abdominals, remember to really focus on the muscle group when performing your exercises. You should also do this with other exercises such as squats, lat pulldowns and others. Core strength is important in a variety of movements.
As with most things body related, everyone is different. The best approach to any abdominal workout (and other exercises for that matter) is to try different exercises to see what works for you. Choose exercises that get you excited about starting your routine, and ideally ones that make you feel like you’ve been gut punched the next day. Mix it up though. Bodybuilding is all about hitting muscle groups from different angles (the abdominals consist of multiple muscles after all). Always watch your form and know the difference between good pain and bad pain.
Remember that there are countless exercises you can perform during your ab workouts. If you perform any ab exercises that you swear by which haven’t been listed above, let us know in the comments below. Lastly, don’t forget cardio and a correct diet – no one will be able to see your abs if you have a layer of fat covering them!