We all want a toned, flat stomach. No surprise there. But since many of us are still relying on crunches to get it, we want to make one thing clear -- crunching is not the most effective abs workout. Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs -- including lower back, hips, and upper thighs.
Crunches can be great but the best way to lose abs fat is to incorporate abs exercises that work the entire body.
Here are 10 abs exercises -- simple to killer -- that will keep your daily core workouts interesting!
Squat is a full body exercise. Squatting with proper posture strengthens the muscles surrounding your knees and lower back. This will make your knees and lower back stronger and healthier.
You can perform squats by bending through your hips and knees, until hips come lower than your knees. You should perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.
Plank is an exercise for abdominal muscles. It is also called front hold or abdominal bridge. It is one of the best exercises because it tightens the deepest core muscles.
You should hold this position for at least 30-40 seconds and perform 3 repetitions.
Mountain climbing strengthens multiple groups of muscles in addition to the cardiovascular system. It improves heart rate and increases intensity of your cardio workouts.
3-4 sets of 15-20 repetitions should be done to get good results.
Kneeling side kick
Kneeling sidekicks targets hip area maximum. It helps in toning of hips and strengthening of your lower back.
You should perform 3-5 sets 10-15 repetitions each.
The inchworm is an exercise that works on the whole upper body i.e. on arms, chest, abdomen, upper and lower back. It is performed by moving body in up-and-down motion like a worm moving across a flat surface.
The bear crawl is a great total body exercise for strength training and improving body control. It includes multi-joint movements that engage the entire body.
It helps you in balancing, coordination, strength, and agility.
Jumping seals are an excellent cardiovascular exercise. It increases your heart rate, and includes full body movement. Your legs, arms and core are all working during this movement.
You can perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.
The plank jack is a great cardio move. It raises the heart rate while working both your lower and upper body. You can perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.
Photographs and illustrations: Rediff Archives