When thinking about our abs or so called six pack, most of us mostly concentrate on doing exercises like crunches or sit ups, to build our rectus abdominis muscle[six pack] , but very often we tend to forget that our abdominal muscles consist of more then just the six pack muscle.
Not only the abdominal muscles make our waistline look great, they are also highly responsible for our posture and core stability. Muscles like transverses abdominis, the internal, external obliques and rectus abdominis, all contribute massively to the stability of our body during movement and sedentary periods. So when planning a abs workout routine don’t limit yourself to simple sit ups or crunches.
Lets look at some exercises that will spice up your abs workout and also make sure that all of your abdominal muscles are getting the right attention.
1. Side Bend Dumbbell – External and Internal Obliques
Choose a dumbbell that feels nice and heavy, but not too heavy, just enough so you can feel the weight in your arm. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbell in one hand, with your arm in a straight relaxed position down your left or right side. Start by bending your waist to the opposite side of the dumbbell until you feel a slight stretch, then straighten yourself and repeat. Switch the dumbbell to the opposite arm and repeat the same movement bending your waist the opposite way. Continue with the exercise until you feel fatigue in the muscles or do anywhere between 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps.
You can also perform this exercise with a dumbbell in each hand. If you choose to use two dumbbells, perform the exercise by bending your waist on the right side until you feel the pull. Straighten your position and repeat the same on your left side. Continue the exercise until you feel fatigue or anywhere between 3-4 sets of 20-30 reps.
If you are performing this exercise at home and you don’t have dumbbells at hand, you can use something like canned goods or a bottle of water to add that weighing sensation to the exercise.
2. Body Weight Mountain Climbers – Transversus Abdominis
Start the exercise by lying on the floor and propping yourself up with your arms and knees. Keep your arms straight, shoulder width apart, with palms placed on the floor. When in a comfortable position start the exercise by bringing one leg forward beneath your chest, then extend your leg backwards, while simultaneously bringing the other leg forward in the same position beneath your chest.
Continue performing the exercise anywhere between 3-4 sets of 30-40 reps. If you start to experience fatigue before your anywhere near 30-40 reps, don’t worry and do as much as you can just keep it consistent so both sides of your body get trained the same.
Mountain Climbers will not only strengthen your core, the exercise will also tone your upper leg muscles – Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis and Vastus Intermedius. Addind mountain climber exercise to your workout routine you will ” Kill two birds with one stone”.
3. ‘ V ‘ Sit-up – Rectus Abdominis [ Your ABS ]
Start the exercise by lying down on a mat or soft carpet on your back with your arms extended straight above your head and legs straight down on the floor. When your set and comfortable, start raising your arms and legs straight in the air towards each other by flexing your waist. Try to reach towards your raised feet, but make sure to keep your arms and legs in a straight position and don’t bend them. When you have reached as far as you can with straight legs and arms return to the start position on the floor and repeat.
Perform the exercise anywhere between 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps to begin with. If you start to feel tired and think you can’t make the 15-20 reps don’t worry find a number that you can perform and start with that. Increase the reps as soon as it gets easier.