Having abs is the new obsession or it has always been an obsession. Not for me, but for the rest of the world. At one point it was an obsession. At one point I really wanted a six pack, I would go through hell to get a six pack. Not anymore. Am happy with my gut, trimming at it slowly but surely. Everybody who work out is sure to incorporate ab work outs to have a flat tummy. So, what are some ab work outs for flat tummies? AB roller, sit ups, planks, leg raises, crunches, 6 inches & hold etc. These are the ones we will focus on.
To start, find a flat comfortable surface to lie on. Proceed to, lie flat with your legs straight out or bent at the knees keeping your feet in contact with the ground. Raise your upper body till you create a V shape or an L shape depending on which pose you are using. You can put your hands to your side or behind your head. Once your ABs are engaged in the sitting position, lower your upper body back down to the flat surface. Breathe out while sitting up & breathe in while going back to starting position. For advanced practitioners, you can use a weighted plate to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
Planks are great for AB workouts. To start, get into push up form. Forearm & toes should be on the ground. Elbows should be directly under your shoulders with your forearms facing forward. With your weight resting on your forearms, your head should be relaxed looking at the floor & your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold position until failure & repeat. While planks are good for AB work outs, it’s also good for developing shoulders, arms & glutes. At the beginning, you will only be able to last for a few seconds. The more you do it the longer you will last & perfect you form. Remember, practice makes perfect.
To perform leg raises, lie down with your legs straight & together. Raise your legs while straight all the way to the ceiling. Then slowly lower your legs till they are just above the floor then raise them to the ceiling again & repeat till failure. Leg raises can be performed while lying on the floor or up right while hanging from a pull up bar. Hanging leg raises or hanging knee raises are variations of leg raises while lying down.
To perform crunches, lie down on your back with feet hip wide. You can put your hands to your side or behind your head. Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades are off the floor. Hold for a moment at the top then back to the starting position. Keep your abs pulled inwards to feel tension in your abs which help to stop you overarching your back; your back should never lose contact with the floor. Always perform crunches slowly to avoid injuring yourself. Variations of crunches include using an exercise ball & use of a weighted plate. Gyms have AB Crunch machines that you can use for this exercise. I have used this machine & it was a fun experience. The cool thing about it is you can add or reduce weight to increase the difficulty level, if you get a chance try it. If you are at home, you can use the space in the living room. Always make sure you are lower back remains in contact with the floor.
There are many types of AB Rollers you can use for your ab work out & they are pretty easy to use too. You can use a plastic AB Wheel or a Pro AB wheel which has a spring for added resistance. AB Carver Pro wheel is one of the high-end AB Wheels. To use an AB Wheel, get on your knees & just roll away. It’s that easy. If you have knee problems this is not for you. To start, get on your knees & places your hands on the AB Wheel. Roll forward & engage your ABs, then roll back to your starting position. Ensure your back is straight & your arms are straight; form is very important. You might want to use a yoga mat to cushion your knees rather than performing the exercise on hard wood floor.
6 Inches & Hold
To start, lie down on your back with legs straight & your arms to the side, palms facing down. Press your palms against the floor, breathe in & raise your legs six inches & hold. For advance practitioners, raise your shoulders & head off the floor. Hold this position until you can’t anymore. Your lower back should always be in contact with the floor for the advanced form. If this happens, lower your feet to 3′ or lower & progress till you can get to 6 inches & hold with the proper form.
Sit ups, leg raises, crunches, AB Roller, & 6 inches & hold are some of the AB workouts you can do. More will be covered later. Back injury is common if proper form is not used. Make sure you stretch before you start. I would recommend starting with sit ups since they are easy to do or 6 inches & hold. Use a timer to time yourself. At the beginning, start with if you start with 6 inches & hold, otherwise start off easy with the rest & pace yourself to get a feel for the exercise. As you get used to the exercise, do more over a longer period of time. Having a yoga mat will make it more comfortable performing most of these exercises. What’s your best AB workout? Leave a comment below & let me know.