Best Ab Workouts
Getting the six-pack of your dreams is no easy feat – trust us, we know. But if you can put down the pizza, pick up some dumbbells, and find some fantastic ab exercises then it can be done.
The ultimate goal of many peoples’ fitness journeys is having toned abs or a six-pack. However, it’s about more than just looks! As personal trainers know, strong abs mean that you have a strong core. Strengthening your core can prevent injuries and help you perform other exercises as you should. If you want to squat heavier, you need stronger abs. Want to run faster? You need stronger abs. Do you see where we’re going with this?
Now before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to learn that Personal Trainers recommend isolating the same muscle groups within the same workout and hitting them multiple times from different angles 1 after the other. If you’re wondering how to get a flat belly, the most effective results you can achieve is by pushing through all of the below exercises, 3-4 times combined with a 20-40 minute HIIT workout.
Why Build A Strong Core?
There are plenty of reasons why you should be interested in building and maintaining a strong core.
When your core and back become stronger, your coordination and balance will also improve. Studies have found that working on your core can improve dynamic balance. When you target your core in the gym, this triggers the cerebellum in your brain, which is responsible for spatial awareness, balance, and coordination. So, working your core can improve your body as well as your brain!
Another benefit of having a strong core is that it can protect your lower back. When you’re working on your core, you’re naturally strengthening your lower back as well. Having a strong core and back can enable you to lift heavier when weightlifting and lower your risk of injury. You’re also less likely to experience niggling lower back pains.
Exercises to Build Core Strength
- Toe Touch
Start by lying flat on your back, preferably on a mat. Stretch your arms out in a T. Then lift one leg to around a 90-degree angle as you sit up. Get your shoulders off the floor and touch the opposite hand to your foot. Lie back down and repeat on the other side. Try starting with 10-12 reps on each side.
This toe touch will have you feeling the burn in no time as it works out your obliques and transverse abs.
Tip: For optimal strengthening, flatten the small of your back to the floor and keep it there when lying down. If you focus on this for the whole time, you should feel your abs start to burn!
- Russian Twist
Begin by sitting on the floor, balancing on your tailbone. Put your legs out and bend them so your calves are parallel to the ground. Cross your ankles and hold a light weight with both hands close to your chest. Lean back your torso, squeeze your abs, and rotate as far as you can go from side to side.
Russian twists target your transverse abs and obliques while improving balance at the same time.
Tip: You can start by doing this one without weight until you build up your ab muscles if you’re new to exercising.
- Side Bend
Keen to work out your obliques? A side bend using a dumbbell is a fantastic way to do this. Start by standing up straight, feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in one hand. Switch on your core, straighten your back, and bend as far as you can to one side from the waist only. When you’ve gone as far as you can, hold there for 1 second before moving back upright.
This not only targets your obliques but will also strengthen your side ab wall for maximum muscle gain.
Tip: You don’t need to use a heavy weight to see the effects of this move. What’s more important is maintaining integrity in your core and keeping your back straight, so select a weight that allows you to do this.
Start by sitting down on a mat and balance on your tailbone. Squeeze your abs and lift your legs in the air until your body creates a V shape (about a 45-degree angle). Stretch your arms out in front of you, in line with your legs. Hold this position for several seconds before releasing. Repeat.
This exercise is fantastic for building up many areas of your core, including your hip flexors, obliques, and rectus abdominis, as well as challenging your balance.
Planks are one of the easiest-looking activities you can do to build your core, however, they are much harder than they look! Simply lie face down on a mat with your hands under your shoulders and stretch your legs out behind you. Dig your does into the floor and push up. Hold the position for the desired time, squeezing your abs and glutes. Keep your head in line with your spine so you don’t strain your neck.
Planking works a whole range of areas including your obliques, glutes, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis.
Tip: Ensure that you keep a flat back the entire time. No sagging or raising your glutes in the air. If you’re losing form, you should take a break and come back to it.
- Mountain Climbers
To start your mountain climbers, start in a plank position with your hands placed directly under your shoulders and toes digging into the floor. Start by bringing one knee to your chest, then place it back and alternate legs. Continue until you’re doing it faster in a running motion.
This not only raises your heart rate but targets your whole body too! Your abs, quads, shoulders, and arms are all getting a workout too.
Tip: Squeeze your abs as much as you can and ensure you move your knee to its full range of motion when bringing it to your chest. This will help stimulate your abs as much as possible.
Want to Learn More?
If you’re intrigued about how building up your abs affects the rest of your body and want to know more ab workouts that personal trainers recommend, why not become a personal trainer yourself?
Get started by studying Certificate III in Fitness at the College of Health and Fitness. Through this programme, you will learn all about how to use physiology and anatomy principles in fitness programs. You’ll also be able to instruct fitness programs, provide health screening and fitness orientations, and more!
By studying fitness, you won’t only unlock the secrets to getting the best abs of your life, but a whole new career path. Studying Certificate 3 in Fitness offers you a whole host of new job opportunities, including becoming a gym instructor, aqua exercise instructor, or a group exercise instructor. So not only will you have fantastic abs, but you can help others get them too!
When you study at the College of Health and Fitness, you can study online. This makes it easy to fit your study around your work, and most importantly, your gym sessions. It also means that you can study no matter where you live – if you’re close to campus or not.
You can study at your own pace and do the coursework whenever you like. This is made up of both theory and practical tools that will help you in your future career.
Apply now to study Certificate III in Fitness and get incredible abs and a fitness career underway today!