Are you looking for an ab workout that doesn’t bore you or strain your back with hundreds of mindless crunching variations? If so, we have some good news for you since the days of attempting to crunch your way to a flatter stomach are long gone.
While once the king of ab exercises, the crunch and sit up wouldn’t even make our list of the top 20 ab exercises. Why? Well, to make a long story short there are tons of other exercise that are more effective and less stressful to the low back.
The exercises below are our top 5 ab exercises if you’re looking for a leaner and stronger tummy in 2016.
Exercise #1 Food Tracking and Support
For those who train at Fuse you saw this one coming. The #1 thing you focus on initially is food if you plan on slimming down your midsection. Unfortunately, all the ab exercises on the planet can’t help us if we’re eating poorly. There’s nothing more effective then tracking your food while receiving on-going support to ensure you’re improving. Flat abs start and end in the kitchen. Combine clean eating with the four exercises below and you’ll be very happy with your new abs!
Exercise #2 L-Sit
Once you get your nutrition on board it’s time to start addressing the abs with strength based movements. The L-Sit is a fantastic abdominal exercise that also trains the upper body. It’s important to know that the best ab exercises almost always involve the upper body as well. It’s a 2 for 1 deal that your body will love. The only thing you need is a pair of parallel bars which can be found for free at most parks. Chances are you’ll need to have your knees fully bent and not in an “L” until you gain the strength and mobility needed. Hold for 5-30 seconds and repeat for 5-10 sets.
Exercise #3 Hardstyle Plank
The average plank is often ineffective since the body is not braced properly. If there’s no tension in your plank there’s often little results to follow. For the hardstyle plank put your feet together and make it a point to tense your quads, butt, and abs. Also, be sure to drive your elbows into the mat to get your lats on board. This will create full body tension that will destroy the average plank. To ensure you are tense, have a friend push your shoulders side to side, if you don’t move you’re doing well. You can hold this plank for 5-30 seconds and repeat for 5-10 sets.
Exercise #4 Bridge
For a complete core your want to make sure you’re also addressing the back, glutes and hamstrings as well. This will create a nice counter balance giving you a complete mid section. The bridge comes in many different flavors that we can’t cover in a brief post but we do recommend you first start with the short bridge and then build your way up. While lying on your back with you knees bent, lift your butt off the ground and hold for 5-10 seconds for 5-10 sets. To make this exercise better squeeze a pillow or ball between your legs while you’re lifting your hips.
Exercise #5 Straight Leg Raises – Toes To Bar
Slow and controlled leg raises play a major role building a strong core so be sure to add these into your routine. All you need is a bar to hang from which can be found for free at nearly every park in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Getting your toes to touch the bar requires great strength and mobility so take your time if you’re new to this exercise. You may want to start by keeping your knees bent initially to ensure your body is building a strong base. Like the L-sit, straight leg raises are an absolute gem for both the abs and upper body. Also, we highly recommend you avoid the fast, sloppy version of leg raises. Focus on using tension to control the exercise not momentum for best results.
Need help learning these awesome ab exercises? We have you covered, email the Fuse Training Team at info@FuseFitnessStudio.com to reserve your complimentary ab workout. In less than 20 minutes we’ll have you performing a near perfect bridge, leg raise, hardstyle plank and L-sit. We’ll be offering 9 more complimentary ab workouts this month (September) so be sure to reserve yours now!
Enjoy your day!