Abdominal muscles are the one set of muscles in the human body that guys and girls unanimously care about. Regardless of gender, age, and personal preference, a lean midsection is an attractive physical characteristic.
There are two components to structuring a sculpted midsection. The first is the reduction of excess fat. The second is the development of abdominal muscle. Both developing muscles and reducing fat are equally important; therefore, the ideal ab workout will maximize the results of each critical area.
To maximize fat burn, it is essential that you keep the pace of your workout at an intense level. The higher the pace, the more intense the workout will become. In other words, to make your workout as intense as possible, try to perform as many reps as you can per set (as always, maintain proper form during the set).
To maximize muscle development, your choice of exercise must be precise. Exercise routines must recruit muscle fibers from two critical areas: the rectus abdominis and the external abdominal oblique. The combination of strength in these areas will give you a rock-solid core.
The following list of exercises are great options for structuring an ab workout routine. Your routine should be based on your current fitness level. An example routine is shown below, but please make any changes needed so the routine will be suitable for you.
Exercises for Oblique Muscles
The Side Jackknife1
Lay on your side with one leg lifted slightly in the air and one hand behind your head
Simultaneously, bring the lifted leg and the elbow toward one another
Let your obliques do the pulling as your knee and elbow should almost touch
Weighted Russian Twists2
Sit with knees bent and lifted slightly off the floor. Remember to keep your chest up
While keeping your feet off the floor, move the weight from side to side making contact with the floor
Turn your head as you move to increase your mobility. Try to keep your legs as stationary as possible
Turn side to side letting the weight make contact with the floor on each side
Lie on your side with one hand on the floor
Lift your hips to make a straight line with your body
Lower the hips and repeat step 2
Exercises for Rectus abdominis
Heels to the Heavens
Lie on your back with your legs lifted in the air forming a 90-degree angle
Lift your hips in the air forcing your “heels to the heavens”
Lower and repeat
Try to keep your heels as straight and stable as possible while doing this exercise
Wide Leg Sit-ups
Lie on the floor with your legs spread apart in the shape of a “V”
With one hand straight in the air, lift your torso off the ground reaching towards the sky with your hand
Begin to twist so that your hand reaches toward the opposite foot
Lower and repeat movement with the other hand
Switch sides of each rep
Lie on your back with your feet together. Your legs should be straight
Perform a complete sit-up
As you lower your upper body, raise your legs about 60 degrees
As soon as your back begins to make contact with the floor, raise the upper body and reach for your toes
Lower torso and legs to the starting position
Perform each of the previous exercises for 40 seconds with a 20-second break in between. Repeat the 7-exercise cycle once. The total time for the workout is 14 minutes, and the workout can be completed 2-3 days per week.
It’s that simple guys and gals. This routine, along with other body workouts, will help you achieve the results you want to see. Good luck on your way to a great-looking midsection!