Good Ab Workouts

Good Ab Workouts

Having a washboard flat abdominal is the Holy Grail for both men and women. It has progressed from being just a means for attracting the opposite sex, to a fitness principle. “Flat-tastic” abdominal is now a lifestyle.

Whether it is men or women, fitness or fad, it’s an object desired. Here’s the thing… even with the number of people who desire washboard flat abs, few have the specialized equipments to actually make it happen. So if you don’t have the gear and don’t have a gym membership, how do you begin your quest for an abdominal like Usher or Jessica Alba?

Lucky for you, we have a map that will lead you right to the object of your desire; 13 workout regimens that DON’T require specialized equipment. Now you can achieve those dream abs from the safety of your home. Here’s how:

1. Flutter kicks

Designed particularly for your lower abdominal, flutter kicks are also referred to as scissor kicks because of the exercise motion. This exercise is a renowned bad boy of workouts, and it has earned its name.

The idea of the flutter kick is to PUSH YOURSELF TO THE LIMIT. Want some action? Let’s begin.

  • Lie down on a carpet or mat. Get comfortable. Keep your legs extended ahead.
  • Place your arms, fisted, under your buttocks. By doing this, you position your hips and pelvis up just a little bit which helps position your legs a bit elevated. It will also help take the strain off of your lower back.
  • Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the course of the exercise. This is important.
  • Lift both your legs off the ground to approximately 8”. Lift your head and shoulder just a bit too. By doing this, you apply all the pressure to the center of our core. You will feel your midsection tighten.
  • Begin flutter kicking by raising one leg up to about 16-20″ off the ground. At the same time, lower the other leg slightly. Continue alternating till you can’t anymore.
  • If you need to take a break, pull your knees to your chest, in a fetal position, and maintain that. Repeat when ready.

Not as easy as you thought, is it? The flutter kick workout is an intense one, which also means it yields great results. You may feel some soreness during and after this exercise. That only means you’re doing it right!

2. Plank on Elbow

The Plank workout looks simple. Don’t be deceived though. It’s somewhat like performing pushups. The focus of this exercise is to work on your midsection, arms, shoulders and glutes. So how does it manage all that? Let’s see:

  • Lie face down on mat in a pushup position. Keep your palms flat across the mat.
  • Next, bend your elbows in a 90 degree angle and rest your forearm on the floor.
  • Raise your body off the ground, so that you’re supporting your body on just your toes and forearms. Make sure to keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keep your core tight and breathe steadily. Focus on your abdominal and lower back.
  • Hold this position for not more than 2 minutes.
  • If you need a break, lower for about 30 seconds, and then repeat for 3-5 reps.

This is a great workout for your body because it targets your major muscles, all at the same time.

3. Side Plank

Yes, plank again. Why, do you ask? Well, our focus is to hit all the angles with this exercise plan. Your abdominal is divided into various muscles: the upper and lower abdominal, and the obliques, to name a few major ones. This exercise focuses on those obliques. Here is how:

  • Lie on one side of your body (let’s take left for the purpose of explanation).
  • Next, facing left, lift your body on your left forearm. Keep your body straight from head to heel. Also, remember to place your leg over the other; i.e. left leg will be on the floor, while your right one over the left.
  • Tuck your abs against your spine. Keep your back straight. Don’t arch.
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
  • Now repeat with the right side.

Do you feel the pressure on those obliques? That means you’re really working them into being toned.

4. Press-ups

The power of press ups does not just lie in its ability to build chest muscles. It targets both your rectus abdominis (abs) and your deeper core muscles (transverse abdominis and obliques). Ok, enough of the jargon. Basically, with the right techniques, the press up can be used to work up your upper abdominal and obliques.

Time to start pounding:

  • To begin, place your body in a push up position, with your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Next, looking ahead, lower your body until you are just an inch off the ground. (Here lies your challenge because most beginners can’t accomplish that). Keep your back straight throughout the time.
  • Then, lift your body and move it to the right-crab style position.
  • Execute another rep, and then shift to the left-crab style.

Throughout the course of your press ups, you are working those arms, and then with the crab style position, you’re making your obliques really burn! With a repetition of this regimen, expect toned abs.

5. Bear crawl

If you’re looking for a workout that will build upper body strength and simultaneously tone that midsection of yours, it’s time to introduce you to the Bear Crawl. The Bear crawl is an unconventional total body conditioning workout that will make your midsection toil like crazy! Heads-up: you’re going to need some floor space for this one.

Get ready to propel your body on all fours:

  • Begin on all fours. Brace your abdominal in a tight way so that you keep your spinal cord straight. Do not sag.
  • Then lift your hips and knees off the ground, so that you’re on your toes and palms.
  • Next, step forward with your right arm and your right foot. Follow up, closely with your left.
  • Build your speed so that you are crawling quickly enough.
  • Take 10 steps forward. Then ten step backward.
  • Accomplish 3 sets of this; 30 steps

Don’t think about looking ridiculous; once you’re done with this workout, you’re going to be sporting a ridiculously awesome abdominal!

6. The Bicycle Maneuver

No, there is absolutely no need to use a real bicycle for this exercise. But you will be using all the muscles of your core through the course of this workout.

So let’s use the Bicycle Maneuver to carve that midsection:

  • Begin by lying flat on the floor on a yoga mat.
  • Place your hands behind your head and over your ears. Do not interlock your fingers. This may cause some strain on your neck.
  • Lift your shoulder blades. You will notice your abdominal muscles are being compressed.
  • Next, bend your knees and bring them up as if you’re pedaling your legs.
  • Now, when you raise your left knee in a pedaling motion, use your RIGHT elbow to touch it. Similarly, next, when lifting your right knee, use your left elbow to touch it. Continue to keep your abdomen tucked in throughout the course of the pedaling.
  • Continue breathing levelly and pedal about 10-20 reps.

On the first try, you may manage a few reps, but over time, you can increase your workout. Throughout the cycling motion, you are exercising both sides of your obliques.

7. T-stabilization

Tired of those same old workout techniques? Here’s an innovative one that really trains and tones your entire core, including your abdominal, lower back and hips.

Let’s get you started:

  • Assume a push-up position.
  • Keep your body straight from shoulders to ankle. Tighten your core.
  • Now, raise one of your arms, straight and rigid, above the side of your head. You are now facing one side, with your body looking like a “T”.
  • Pause here for some time.
  • Reverse movements back to starting position. Repeat on opposite side.

8. Long-Arm Crunches

Yes, folks, it’s time to bring out the big guns. And no ammunition is complete without crunches. The long-arm crunch, as you’ve figured out by now, is not your traditional crunch. This one is customized. Its significance lies in its ability to primarily focus on your upper abdominal.

So without further ado, let the crunching begin:

  • Start by lying on your back.
  • Next, place your arm over your head. It’ll be best if you link them together in order for them to stay connected through the workout.
  • Lift your knees, so that they’re bent, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • A few things need to be remembered before initiating the exercise is that your abdominal will remain flat and contracted throughout the time.
  • Now slowly lift your upper body, along with your arms, USING YOUR CORE, not your neck. You are now crunching.
  • Your motion will be completed once your lower back is just off the ground.
  • Now lower back down slowly.
  • Perform about 12-16 reps.

The key to the success of this exercise is to consistently use your abdominal muscles for the crunching. That way you’re compressing it, and really working the midsection.

9. Vertical-Leg Crunches

The Vertical-Leg crunch is one of the most effective ways to get rid of that tummy fat, and results in a strong upper and lower muscle in the abdominal. The reason why it is so effective is because it isolates the muscles in the core, and concentrates on really working them out.

How does it manage that? Let’s take a closer look:

  • Lie flat on your back, with arms straight.
  • Next, lift your legs up, till it is about 90 degrees against the floor. Bend your knees a little in order to avoid hyperextend. You don’t want to injure yourself or stretch a muscle.
  • Now raise your arms, straight to almost touch your feet with your fingers; your right hand to right leg and vice versa.
  • Perform slowly and breathe steadily.
  • Continue about 8-15 reps.

Do you feel how your abdominal is the main focus of this exercise? The vertical leg crunch provides you with a toned core and improved balance and posture.

10. Reverse Crunches

This crunch style right here is a favorite of many. This is because of the benefits; it is applies less strain on your neck and back than a regular crunch. Also, its focus is the core. The name is credited to it because it is the opposite of regular crunches.

All your favorite celebs like Heidi Klum and Gerard Butler have incorporated this regimen into their training. That got your attention, didn’t it? Let’s see how they do it:

  • Lie on the floor with your legs straight.
  • Rest your arms on either of your sides, splayed slightly. This is to provide stability to your next motion.
  • Next, lift your thighs up so that it is perpendicular to the floor. Keep your lower legs (from your knees) parallel to the floor.
  • Now, for the best part; using your core, pull your legs and hips upwards in such a way that your knee is up against your chest.
  • Hold this position. At this point, you should be able to feel your abdominal muscles really working themselves.
  • Now, lower your leg back to the original position.
  • Perform about 15-20 reps at a normal speed.

It is absolutely imperative to squeeze your core in and out with each crunch. The idea is to allow your core to do all the work, so don’t cheat!

11. Double Crunches

If you thought the basic and reversed crunches were good, then we’ve got a surprise in store; because the double crunch has been developed to combine the best application of the two of them! With this crunch exercise, you are working your upper and lower body…simultaneously!

To kick off your workout with the Double Crunch:

  • Lie on your back on the floor.
  • Place your hands over your head and ears.
  • Next, lift your thighs up, so it’s perpendicular to the floor, and your knee is bent and parallel to the floor. This is your original position.
  • Here is where your crunching will begin. Squeezing your core, simultaneously, lift your thighs and your upper body towards each other. What you’re doing here is applying some pressure on your abdominal from both, your upper and lower body.
  • Now come back to your original position.
  • Continue about 10-15 reps.

This combination of crunches will tone and strengthen your core over time.

12. Side Crunch

Yes, another crunch! You could complain about being overwhelmed with the number of crunch exercises, but its impact on your abdominal remains indisputable. The reason why experts recommend so many crunches is because they have proven their effectiveness in not only burning the extra fat, but also for shaping up your body.

Got love handles?  Should they even concern you? Absolutely. Ripped abs is an overall commitment. These side crunches will get rid of them to show off your more defined and ripped obliques. Here is how:

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Place your hands over your head and ears. Refrain from interlacing them. You may inadvertently pull your neck into a strain.
  • Next, lift your thighs up, so it’s perpendicular to the floor, and your knee is bent and parallel to the floor. This is your original position.
  • Keep your core tight. This is going to hit you in the gut.
  • To begin crunching, lift your head and shoulder blades towards the rights first, and then the left. Throughout this time, you are moving your upper body from side to side, crunching.
  • Perform about 25 of these.

FYI, this is going to hurt. In this case pain is good. Performing this particular type of crunch will give your body that “V” shape. So, hey, there’s your upside.

13. The V-Hold

A simple looking technique that really packs a punch! The V-hold workout is really difficult to master. This is because it really pushes and challenges your ability to balance yourself. Let’s take a closer look. Fair warning: prepare yourself.

  • Start out by laying flat on your back.
  • Keep your hands firm on your sides. You’re going to be using it to balance your next move.
  • Now, the tough part; lift your back and legs at the same time so your body looks like it’s forming a “V”. Keep your back and legs straight.
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds.

Can you feel your abdominal? Yes, it really is being worked.

Flat-tastic Abs from home!

And there you have it! A series of result-driven workout plan that will give you that elusive ripped core. Don’t be overwhelmed. There’s no need to rush off with your yoga mat and begin all of these exercises.

All you need is some of these great workouts incorporated in your training, and you are good to go; all in the comforts of your own house. Of course, don’t forget to eat healthy and cut down on happy hour. Remember, sculpted and dreamy abdominal is a full time commitment.

Stick to that, and in a few weeks, say hello to those ripped abs!