No More Boring Ab Workouts
The old school ab workouts are quite boring and outdated. They are designed to promote movement in one shortened plane and are much less effective in development of muscle definition than other techniques. In fact, a study by the American Council of Exercise states that the simple crunch is placed in the category of an "ineffective" ab workout. The Ab Roll, Ab Cruncher and other similar concepts that claim to be the most effective way to sculpt and tone often fall short. Such methods may not result in washboard abs as the models portray. The good news is that there are other ab workouts to consider that do not involve crunches at all! Sculpted abs look great, but strong abs are better for your health. See the listed health benefits below from implementation of routine ab workouts:
Strong abs are amazing for posture and balance. Poor posture can lead to fatigue and chronic back pain.
A solid core pulls many parts of the body together helping your overall physique.
Strong abs may help in the bedroom by increasing stamina and flexibility.
Ab workouts are a pregnant woman's best friend. A strong core will improve endurance and may reduce the length labor.
Strengthening your core via Kegel exercises may prevent development of pre- and post- pregnancy urinary incontinence.
Cut Out The Fast Food!
Fast food is quick and easy, but the good news stops there. The negative effects can be everlasting and quite damaging towards your body. Obviously, regular consumption of such meals can contribute to the development of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other worrisome conditions. There is a much greater concentration of sodium and harmful cholesterol (saturated and trans fats) compared to healthier options. Ab workouts alone will not aid you in obtaining a flat tummy if you are chowing down on fast food daily. Just like the old saying goes, "Abs are made in the kitchen first". Just stay away!!!
No Crunch Ab Workouts That Flatten and Tone!
Here comes the fun! Consistency is key. Alternate these ab workouts 3x a week for 4 weeks. You'll begin to notice greater definition and feel great.
Workout #1: Complete 2 sets of each exercise.
1. Pelvic tilt.
Targets the pelvic floor. Lie on your back with knees bent, arms at sides and feet flat on floor. Tighten your ab muscles as you tilt your pelvis backwards noticing the natural curve of your back. Draw your pelvis and belly button forward towards your sternum. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
2. Boat pose
Targets the rectus abdominis. Sit on the floor and pull your knees to your chest. Lean backwards slightly. Extend legs up to a 45 degree angle. Stretch your arms such that your palms are beside your knees. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
3. Cross leg diagonal crunch
Targets entire core. Lie with your legs straight directly on the floor. Tighten your abs as you lift your right leg up and reach for your right toe with your left arm. Alternate with the left leg. Complete 20 reps.
4. Standing weighted side bends
Targets obliques. Choose a dumbbell low in weight. Start with the weights in your hands with arms straight at your sides. With a tight core lean side to side allowing the weight to extend towards your knee. Complete 10 on each side.
Fit Tip: Have fun playing music. It will help you pass the time and have fun!
Workout #2: Complete 2 sets of each exercise
1. Medicine Ball Slam
Targets the rectus abdominus. Grab a light to moderate weighted medicine ball or a slam ball and hold it up above your head. Keeping your core engaged, upright and with good posture, throw the medicine ball directly down towards the ground as hard as you possibly can! Repeat 10 times.
2. Mountain climbers
Targets entire core. In a plank position on your hands and toes, tighten your abs. Make sure to keep a neutral spine with no arch in your back. Alternate bringing one knee to your chest. Move at your own pace. Time yourself for 1 min.
3. Plank twist
Targets Entire core. In a plank position supporting your body on your forearms and toes, tighten your abs. Make sure to keep a neutral spine with no arch in your back. Twist hips to one side and then the other while maintaining a tight core and a neutral spine. Repeat 10 times.
4. The Pendulum
Targets obliques and transversus abdominis. Lie flat on your back. Raise your legs until you have a 90-degree bend at the hips. Maintaining straight legs and without your back coming off the floor, lower them to the right, allowing them to come almost all the way to the floor. Return the legs to the upright position and then lower them to the left. Repeat 5 times on each side.
You're now well on your way to obtaining a great core without that boring ole ab crunch! Ab workouts are a quick, easy way to strengthen your core muscles and boost overall health. Here is Bonus flat ab workout to try at home:
Dedicated to your success,
Andrea Steponaitis- ACSM_CPT