Whether you want a flat stomach, a bit of definition or a 6 pack there are many different ways to work out your abs, these exercises are not the usual ones that you would think of but they are every bit as effective at getting the results you want.
If you are going to work out your abs as part of your routine then make sure you do the isoation exercises last, especially if you are going to be doing compound movements or using free weights. This is important because when doing compound movements or using free weights you will be using your core to stabilize your body throughout the movement, therefore if you did your ab exercises first and fatigued your core muscles you will not be able to perform your other exercises to the best of your ability and could risk injury.
I am sure I don’t need to remind you all that you cannot spot reduce fat, so no matter how much you want to lose the fat doing these exercises alone is not going to get you that flat stomach or 6 pack. Incorporate these exercises in to your routine and you will start to notice your abdominals become firmer, stronger and as your body fat percentage reduces you will start to notice more definition.
These are great as you can do them anywhere at any time and no one will know. Stomach vacuums are an isolated exercise that will help give you a slimmer waistline, the aim is to build a stronger inner abdominal wall. You can do these anywhere, sitting standing, kneeling, laying down. Try them standing to begin with.
- Standing up breathe out and expel all the air from your lungs.
- Now draw your belly button in towards your spine as far as you can and hold it for as long as you can.
- Don’t forget to keep breathing throughout the move, you will find your breathing is not as deep as normal when doing the vacuums.
- Get into a push up position with your hands and balls of your feet on the floor.
- Bring the right knee in towards the chest bringing your right foot to the floor. This is the starting position.
- Now switch feet in the air by bringing the left knee to the chest and extending the right leg back.
- Continue alternating the feet as fast as you safely can for 30-60 seconds.
Hand walk outs
- Stand with your feet hip width apart.
- Lean forwards and place both hands flat on the ground, bend your knees slightly if you need to.
- Keeping your legs extended walk your hands away from your body, as far past your shoulders as you can, until you are in a full plank position. Hold for one count at the furthest point, and then walk your hands back to your feet and slowly return to standing.
- Repeat up to 10 times.
Plank leg raise using stability ball
- Get into a push up position with your hands on the stability ball under your shoulders and your legs extended behind you with your feet together. There should be a straight line form your head to your heels.
- Once you are stable, lift your leg of the floor a few inches for 10-30 seconds (if you can only do 10 seconds to begin with gradually increase the time your leg is in the air every time you do this exercise until you can hold the pose for 30 seconds).
- Change legs and repeat 3 times.
- Lie on the floor and extend your arms above your head and lift both legs into the air so that they are at a 45 degree angle. Keep your belly button drawn in to your spine.
- Inhale, bring your head and shoulders off the mat, keeping your abs contracted, exhale and lift your entire upper body off the mat, with your legs still extended and your arms outstretched in front of you.
- At the top of the exercise, keep your arms and legs parallel to one another and breathe while holding the top/up position for two slow counts.
- Return to the start position by inhaling and then rolling your back, shoulders and head down onto the mat. Repeat