Ab Workouts: The Best Exercises for Fantastic Abs

If you are looking for more effective and fastest ways to build your abs. While six-pack abs may be the reason for you to embark on this journey, these ab exercises also focus on strengthening your core and redefining your abs. Wondering what all you need to include in your regimen to get this?

Health Shots got in touch with fitness expert and Fit India ambassador Wanita Ashok to discuss the best and most effective ab exercises that will ensure you results.

What are abdominal exercises?

Ab workouts are exercises specifically designed to target and strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, including the rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abdominis. “Ab workouts can include a variety of exercises such as crunches, planks, Russian twists, leg raises and more. Incorporating a mix of different exercises and focusing on proper form and technique is important for effectively training the abdominal muscles,” explains Ashok.

How Many Ab Exercises Should You Include in Your Routine Every Day?

Ab workouts are quality not quantity. “You should do a maximum of 2-3 abdominal workouts per session. All trained muscles for 48 hours before training them again. It is important to allow rest and recovery time as the muscles aid in muscle growth and recovery,” adds Ashok.

It is one of the best exercises to train your abs as well as your entire body. Image courtesy: Freepik

She says, “Excessive abdominal exercise can lead to overtraining and possible injury, just like any other muscle group. The abdominal muscles need time to rest and recover to grow and get stronger,” explains Ashok.

Overtraining the abdominal muscles can also lead to imbalances in the core muscles, which can affect posture and overall stability. Abdominal exercises should be combined with logo back strengthening exercises, the opposite muscle group.

Also read: 5 Best Chest Workouts for Upper Body Strength

Best Ab Exercises to Follow

A study published in the American Council on Exercise listed the best exercises specifically for the stomach. The study was conducted among 30 men and women between the ages of 20 and 45. Here are the best ab exercises to follow:

1. Bicycle crunches

To do this, you need to lie on your back so that your back touches the ground. Now lift your knees and bring them close to your chest. Then lift your shoulders. Now straighten your left leg and turn your upper body to the right, and vice versa.

2. Captain’s chair

This requires a chairless chair that has both a backrest and armrests. Lift your knees and bring them close to your chest. Now tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly lower your legs.

3. Crunches, on a balance ball

Place your hands behind your head while pressing the ball down. Now bring yourself forward while using your core muscles.

Also read: Plank it out! Tighten your core with this abdominal exercise

4. Vertical leg crunch

Keep your legs perpendicular to the floor and make sure they are straight. Now lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor. Hold this position for one second.

5. Torso track training

Place the torso track on the floor and get on your hands and knees, the knees should be on the cushion and grab the handles. Now move forward, your back should be straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to see how far you can go by lowering your stomach. Now withdraw yourself.

Bicycle crunches for abs
The bicycle crunch is the perfect exercise to strengthen your abdominal muscles and slim your waist. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the most common mistakes people make during abdominal exercises?

Although abdominal exercises have many benefits, Ashok tells you what to pay attention to!

1. Overtraining is at the top of the list

Because most people overdo crunches, they are convinced that this will flatten their stomach. Overtraining muscles can lead to injuries and imbalances in the core muscles.

2. Bad form

Many people tend to use momentum or rely on their hip flexors to perform abdominal exercises, rather than using the actual abdominal muscles. This can lead to overload and you can also sustain an injury.

3. Neglecting other muscle groups

The core is made up of more than just the abdominal muscles, so it’s important to include exercises that target the entire core, including the obliques, lower back and pelvic floor muscles.

4. Contain no variation

Doing the same abdominal exercises over and over again can lead to plateaus in strength and muscle growth. It is important to include a variety of exercises to challenge the core muscles in different ways.

5. Not breathing properly

Many people tend to hold their breath during abdominal exercises, which can lead to increased intra-abdominal pressure and possible injury. It is important to breathe properly and engage the core muscles while performing abdominal exercises.

6. Do not heat up

Skipping a proper warm-up before abdominal exercises can increase your risk of injury. It is important to properly prepare the body for exercise by warming up the muscles and increasing blood flow.

7. Not focusing on nutrition

Diet is a big part of building strong abs. Neglecting nutrition can hinder progress in strengthening abdominal muscles.

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