Having chiselled abs is one goal that many fitness enthusiasts target. The anatomy that’s responsible for that washboard appearance is the rectus abdominis. Including core workouts in your exercises, like bicycle crunches, planks, mountain climbers, etc., is an excellent way to ensure that you’re working out your core to gain those formed, rock-hard abs.
Routinely working out your core can also improve mental health. The benefits of a strong core go beyond aesthetics. A toned midsection can help relieve back pain, improve posture, and make everyday activities easier. Plus, a healthy relationship with your body can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence.
Training your core is a good way to ensure that your body works harmoniously for better balance and stability. If you’re an athlete or just a fitness buff looking for ways to increase your strength and performance in physical abilities, read on below for the most effective core workouts!
This workout is a classic. You have to lay flat on the floor, ensure that your lower back is pressed to the ground, and don’t lay down on your butt. You’ll have to use your whole body for this exercise. First, place your hands behind your head without yanking your neck or lifting it. Then, bring one knee up to a 45-degree angle while keeping the other leg straight.
In this exercise, you would have to imagine riding a bicycle with your back to the ground. Then, you’ll shift your legs back and forth as if you’re pedalling a bike, and alternating each leg by extending one knee and lifting the other.
As you do this exercise, you would touch your left elbow and your right knee and the same for your right elbow and left knee. Keep your movements steady and deliberate. The recommended reps are 10–25 reps on each side; you may even complete two more sets, depending on your calibre. You can increase the number of reps depending on your increased set.
Bicycle crunches work out almost all of your core muscles simultaneously, especially your obliques and rectus abdominis. So if you’re looking to gain abs, bicycle crunches are a great way to target your upper abs and stabilize your pelvis.
When doing bicycle crunches, getting supplements is also a great idea. When exercising, you would need the proper nutrients and a push to achieve your gym goals.
In this routine, you would have to enter a pose where you would prop your upper body on your forearms while your lower body rests on your toes. The focus is to keep your knees rigid and your abdominal muscles taut. Unfortunately, people who do this exercise first tend to let their hips drop or their upper back sink between their shoulder blades. Avoid doing this at all costs to execute and achieve the best results.
Maintain a stiff and straight plank for at least 15 to 60 seconds. Inhale and exhale slowly to maintain balance. Avoid panting and holding your breath. It’s an exercise where you balance your body weight on your toes and arms, keeping your core engaged. Your transverse abdominis, obliques, and rectus abdominis are utilised.
Are you looking for a workout that can help tone your butt, thighs, and core? The bridge exercise can help you with that. Your starting position is with you on your back while you plant your feet on the floor at hip width and your knees bent.
Next, place your palms down at your sides. Tighten your core and glutes for the best results so that everything is engaged. Start the workout by raising your hips until your shoulders and knees are inlined. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds and repeat it at least ten times.
The Mountain climber is an intermediate exercise that combines knee movements with a plank position. It’s an excellent exercise to improve your core strength and balance. To do this exercise, get in a plank position, as you’ve learned from the exercise above. The difference in this exercise is you’re going to place your hands on the mat below your shoulders. Here, you will also use your toes as your support.
Tighten your core throughout the exercise. The next step is lifting your knees toward your chest while ensuring that your back is straight and your hips are down. Return to your starting position by returning your right leg, do this as you simultaneously lift your right knee toward your chest. Continue the exercise by alternating your legs. You can start with one set of 8–12 reps.
If you’re looking for a strong abdominal exercise that engages your rectus abdominis, hip flexors, and internal and external obliques, add the v-sit pose to your workout. You can start your starting position in a seat position on your mat. In addition, you can work on your breathing exercise here since you would need to inhale slowly, ensuring that your abdominal muscles contract as you lift your legs to a 45-degree angle.
You must reach forward or place your hands on your sides to stabilise yourself. You’ll hold this V-like position for at least 15–60 seconds. After 1 minute, relax for 15–20 seconds and repeat the pose at least twice. As you get stronger, you can increase the duration of the pose and lessen the rest time.
Incorporating supplements into a workout routine
When it comes to fitness, incorporating supplements into your routine can help you see results more quickly. But with so many products on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular workout supplements and how they can benefit your routine.
Protein powder is a great way to help your muscles recover after a workout. It’s also an easy way to increase your protein intake if you’re trying to build muscle mass. Look for a quality powder that contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for optimal results.
Creatine is another popular supplement that can help with muscle recovery and growth. It is also considered the best pre workout for vegans, which works by providing your muscles with extra energy, allowing you to push yourself harder during your workouts.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that’s been shown to improve exercise performance. It can help delay fatigue and increase endurance, making it ideal for cardio or HIIT workouts.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that can boost exercise performance. It can help you feel more alert and increase your focus, making it easier to power through your workout.
There are many other supplements available on the market, but these are some of the most popular and research-backed options. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting any supplement regimen to make sure it’s right for you.
How often should you do core workouts?
Add your core workouts to your schedule two or three times a week. To ease yourself into the exercises, start with basic exercises. When you can succeed in a complete set easily, you can move on to a more advanced set of core exercises.
Exercising regularly and sticking to a rigid schedule can be boring for some, so ensure that you change exercise routines regularly to keep you motivated.
How long does it take to get abs?
The more fat your body has, the longer it will take to shed the fat and gain six-pack abs. You should lose 1%–2% of body fat per month. Gaining your abs can take around three months to two years. As you can see, it varies from case to case. If you want to get a better number on the duration, it would be best to ask your physician, who knows your entire medical history and body best. You may also ask a professional trainer while they assess your physique and strength capabilities.
With chiselled abs in mind, create an exercise plan with the top core workouts mentioned above. Ensure that you remain disciplined throughout your plan to reach your goal, the washboard appearance.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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