Everyone wants that firm, toned up, and perfect body. For many, that ideal body is a confidence booster as it becomes easier and even prideful taking off your shirt and showcasing your well-trimmed abs. While for others, it helps them in various other ways apart from boosting their confidence.
It also makes your body well suited for that dress you’ve always wanted to try on without it looking awkward on you. Well, the good news is that you can achieve it even if people have told you otherwise. An interview with the best fitness trainers in the bodybuilding department gives advice on some of the best exercises you can do to build your abs.
Understanding the muscles in your midsection
In other to achieve the aim of well-trimmed abs, you need to first understand the muscles that are responsible for well-trained abs. Basically, there are four (4) muscles in your midsection. They are:
- The Transverse Abdominis (TVA)- to identify this muscle, it is the one that looks wrapped around your stomach. They are like deep stabilizers.
- The Rectus Abdominis- this is the outer layer of the abs, it is responsible for the six-packs that are in most cases obvious to onlookers.
- The Internal Obliques- they are the muscles located around the abdominis. These are located directly under the external abdominis.
- The External Obliques- they are the muscles located around the abdominis. They are located above the Internal Obliques.
The internal and external obliques are used daily in moving the torso side and rotate the midsection. If you wish to achieve a well-trained ab faster, all four muscles mentioned must be exercised simultaneously. In other words, exercises that will involve a combination of all four muscles should be the target.
Top Abs Exercises
Kindly note that some of these exercises can be done wherever you find yourself as you do not need to visit a professional gym. In each of the exercises listed below, clear instruction as to how to perform each of them is given. You can choose which one best suits you then do them. Now, let’s take a look at some of these top abs exercises.
- Side Situp- lay on your left side in such a way that your body weight is resting majorly on the left side of your hip. Raise your legs up to an angle of like 45 degrees. You should use your forearm for support by placing it on the floor to support your position. Slowly bend your knees, bringing them gradually toward your chest and simultaneously bring your chest to meet the oncoming knees. You need to lower your back a little to make a lap.
After doing the first lap, count until you do like 20 laps on that same side. When you are done, change to the other side by laying on your right side. Perform each step as outlined above to complete the routine. This routine is particularly good for building the transverse abs and the internal and external obliques.
- Bent leg situps- To perform this routine, you need to lie on your back and make sure your two legs are in the air. Next, bend your legs such that your knees come towards your body and your legs come parallel to the floor. When you are in this position, you notice that your legs are bent at an angle of 90 degrees. To make one lap, move your torso up and straighten your legs, ensure that your arms extend, with your hands touching your toes. The movement is complete when you lower your back down. Now, take about 15 to 20 laps to complete routine.
This exercise is specifically recommended for those who wish to build their six-packs as well as their transverse abs.
- Planks (side planks most especially) – lie face down on the ground. You can place a mat or blanket on the floor for this. Try and adjust yourself into a forearm plank position. Be sure the positioning is right as you will know when your elbows are aligned under your shoulders. Hold your hands in the fisting position as well. Also ensure that your forearms, clenched fists, and elbows must be parallel to each other. Hold in this position for about 20 seconds then relax. Start again and hold for another 20 seconds, then relax. Repeat it 10 to 15 times to complete a routine.
Side planks are almost similar to the normal planks. The only difference is that it is done on the sides.
Start by lying on your left side with your left forearm on the floor. In this position, your right left will be stacked on top of the left leg right your right hand will be on your hips. Lower the hips some inches and come back up to make a lap. Do it for about 15 laps on the left side before switching to the right side. Repeat the procedures outlined above on the other side to complete the routine.
- Weighted Back Squat- Allow your feet to be a bit wide apart while you lift some sort of barbell or weight on your shoulders. Make sure the weight is evenly placed such that it is not more burden on one side of your shoulder than on the other side. Ensure that the weight on your shoulders is not too much as the target is not your legs but your abs.
Now, bend your knees as deeply as possible as you take calculated squats at intervals by pressing through the heels and returning to your starting position to complete one lap. Complete the routine by taking 15 to 20 laps. This exercise will strengthen the internal and external obliques, will it helps achieve your desired six-packs.
One thing you should keep in mind with abs exercises is that to achieve the desired results, you need to be consistent, never missing a day of exercise. You will eventually find out that the entire sacrifices will be well worth it.