Your abdominal muscles consist of your “upper” and “lower” abs, extending the entire length of the anterior abdominal wall. They are usually parallel to each other.
You can finish a workout routine, completing certain sets and reps, but fail to get the results you desire. Certainly, your goal is to define your ‘s*x lines’ and to remove those ‘love handles’ that fold over when you sit, so you need to evolve from the basic repetitive routine, to harder steps. Shock your abs by introducing it to new workout routines and push until you feel the burn. That’s the goal.
To reduce your pouch, you can’t keep feeding it with just about anything. This is why dieting is key when engaging in a journey to getting firmer abdominal muscles. Also, try to be consistent. Don’t start the routine and give up half way. The secret of reaching your fitness goals is basically dieting, new routines and consistency; anything else is just jara.
From fitness experts, here are some workout routines you should try to strengthen your abs, with apt descriptions of how you can achieve them.
This should be the first step in your routine. In this pose, ensure your body is stiff and as straight as a wooden plank as you engage the muscles of your diaphragm, abdominals, hips, and lower back. Verywell Fit gives a breakdown of the routine that makes it super easy. To enter the pose here’s what you should do:
- Prop your upper body on your forearms.
- Rest your lower body on your toes.
- Keep your knees rigid and abdominal muscles taut. (Do not allow your hips to drop or your upper back to sink between your shoulder blades.)
- Hold the position for 15 to 60 seconds while inhaling and exhaling slowly. (Do not pant or hold your breath.)
To increase the intensity, extend one arm in front of you for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. You can do the same with your legs.
Enter this pose from the plank position.
- Shift your weight to one arm.
- Position your upper foot behind your lower foot to keep the body stable.
- Once stabilised, place your feet together. (Do not allow your hips to sag.)
- Extend your free arm toward the ceiling.
- Hold the position for 15 to 60 seconds while maintaining complete control of your core.
- Repeat on the other side.
To increase the intensity, lift the upper leg a few inches and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
To do this, start off in the plank position and follow these steps:
- Move your arms and feet apart as wide as possible until your body forms a star shape.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds with your torso straight and abs braced for.
Next, lie flat on your back.
- Straighten your legs with your arms by your sides.
- Lift your heels about six inches and rapidly kick your feet one after the other in a quick, scissor-like motion.
To do this exercise, follow up from the flutter kick pose by laying flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
- Rest your hands behind your head.
- Bring one knee up to a 45-degree angle and keep the other straight.
- Shift your legs back and forth as if peddling a bike, alternately extending one knee while lifting the other.
- While doing that, touch your left elbow to your right knee and your right elbow to your left knee. Your hands should not leave the back of your head.
- Complete 10 to 25 reps on each side, keeping your movements deliberate and steady.
- Then, relax and complete two more sets.
As you get stronger, increase the number of reps per set.
Marc Perry gives a very easy breakdown of his Reverse Crunches routine to strengthen your abs. This step engages both legs and should not be done if you have back issues. As usual, you should engage your core in the process.
He explains that the lower abs are hit hard with this exercise and, at the top of the movement, your upper abs squeeze intensely as well.
- Bring your knees into your chest and contract your abs in the process.
- In this routine, keep your heels fairly close to your b**t at the top position. (Don’t allow your heels to swing too high.)
This exercise targets primarily the upper abs, with some stimulation of the lower abs, and takes all pressure off the lower back so you can focus on strengthening your abs. If you feel a strain around your neck, you can place your hands behind your neck.
Begin from a pushup position as seen in the picture with your hands at shoulder-width. Your body should form a straight line.
- Keeping your core tight, take small steps with your hands and feet so you move across the floor like an alligator.
- Keep moving until it feels like your shoulders are about to give out.
This exercise brings in your lower abs into play more than the Knee Crunches.
- While one leg is on the floor, bring the other towards your lower abs like you are riding a bicycle. Your upper body should be slightly raised while doing this.
- Continue this sequence until you feel the effect.
Like with the reverse crunches, be careful with this exercise.
- To achieve a V-Ups, begin by lifting your shoulders slightly off the ground.
- Focus on the contraction and don’t use momentum. Let it be slow and controlled.
To make it more challenging, you can put a dumbbell between your feet when doing this exercise, but be careful with your lower back.
There are other workout routines you can try using equipment for more effect, but these are guaranteed to get your abs strengthened. Try it out and tell us what you think.