Many people are dreaming about having a nice toned stomach – and as we are getting closer and closer to summer, many people decide to make a commitment and start working hard to achieve that tummy. So they start doing crunches every morning or every night, but the results are not coming somehow. There might be two reasons for that. First of all, as you might have read about it already: abs are made in the kitchen. If you train your abs rigorously, but don’t have a clean diet, your abdominal muscles will get stronger, but there will still be a layer of fat covering them. So first of all, try to clean up your diet: stay away from overly processed foods, sugary drinks like coke and other sodas –or even bottled milk tea and coffees, you will be checked if you check the label to see how much sugar one bottle can contain! Try to cut down on the sweets and deserts you eat and avoid simple carbs – go for whole grain, more vegetables, lean meat and fish instead! And as always: don’t forget to drink enough water!
The second reason: unilateral training. For achieving strong and tones muscles, whichever body part might it be, you need to target them from different angles, have a training routine with various different exercises. You need to keep surprising your muscles and you constantly need to challenge yourself. Because if you are doing the same exercise over and over again, your muscles will adapt to the workload, it will become easy and that exercise won’t help you grow and improve anymore. There are two things you can do. First, you can add extra resistance. This might mean using a resistance band or free weights if you were using bodyweight only before, or increasing the weight you are working with. Secondly, you can always introduce various new exercises that are targeting the muscles differently, to challenge yourself and start getting closer to reaching your goals again.
So this week we are introducing some new abs exercises to take it up a notch and get one step further from the regular crunches. This routine can be easily done at home – most exercises don’t need any equipment, or can just be enhanced using free weights: plates, dumbbells, a sandbag, whatever you have on hand. You can incorporate some exercises into your routine or do all of them for a killer abs workout. If you decide to use all, do three sets of each: you can complete one set of each then repeat it twice more or you can get them done exercise by exercise as well. Make sure to rest only about 30-60 seconds between sets, to keep up the intensity of the workout. And if you feel like it’s getting easy after completing the routine a few times, start using weights, or if you have been using some already, try to increase the weights and work with heavier plates or dumbbells.
All exercises are shown and explained in the video, but here is a list of them that you can print and take with you to make following the workout easier:
- Reverse crunches (20 reps)
- V-ups (15 reps)
- Plank – twists – side plank (30 sec – 8/side – 30 sec)
- Heel touchers (20 reps)
- Russian twists (20-30/side)
- Toe touchers with a plate (15-20 reps)
- Side bend with a plate (15/side)
- Hanging leg raises (15 reps)