How to Work Out Your Abs : Maxener Wellness

Method 1 Building Strength With Ab Exercises

Do sit-ups. Exercises such as sit-ups are a good place to start if you want to build core strength. They’re simple for beginners and don’t require you to join a gym or buy any fancy exercise equipment.

  • For sit-ups, start on your back with your knees bent and your lower back against the floor. Cross your arms across your chest rather than putting your hands behind your head – this can put unnecessary strain on your neck.
  • When doing sit-ups, take care with your form and make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly. Your effort should come from your core, not your shoulders or neck, which could cause injury.
  • If you don’t have someone to work out with you and hold your feet while doing sit-ups, try tucking your toes under the couch or another low piece of furniture.

Add planks to your routine. Planks are another basic exercise you can do to work out your abs. This exercise strengthens your core muscles so your back and pelvis are supported. Doing planks for a few minutes every day can improve your posture and decrease back pain.

  • To do a traditional plank, lay on your stomach on the floor with your arms bent at the elbow so your hands are under your shoulders.
  • Raise up slowly so that your arms are extended and you’re on your toes (or your knees, if you’re a beginner) with your legs and back straight. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Do a side plank by raising up from a side position so that your weight is balanced on your elbow and the side of your foot. Your elbow should be on the floor directly under your shoulder, your forearm flat on the floor and palm flat.

Include back extensions to work out your lower back muscles. You don’t want to work on your abs exclusively and neglect your back. Strong lower back muscles are crucial for overall core strength.

  • Back extensions don’t require any equipment. Simply lie on the floor face down with your arms parallel to your body.
  • Lift your chest off the floor, hold for between 5 and 10 seconds, then slowly back down.
  • You can increase the time you hold the position to increase the difficulty. Make sure you’re able to release the hold in a controlled way.
  • You should lower yourself to the floor at the same rate of speed as you lifted, maintaining control the entire time rather than simply flopping down.

Do leg lifts to target both your lower back and abdominal muscles. Leg lifts are another basic exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment – just a little floor space. When you do leg lifts, your back and abs work together.

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your arms parallel beside you. Lift your legs about 12 inches off the ground.
  • Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, then release.

Use the bird-dog exercise. If you aren’t ready to invest in exercise equipment such as resistance bands, the bird-dog exercise is a good option. This exercise adds variety without costing you any money.

  • To do this exercise, get on the floor on your hands and knees with your back flat.
  • Slowly extend your left leg and your right arm at the same time.
  • Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, then return to the resting position.
  • Do the same thing with your right leg and left arm.

Method 2 Getting the Most from Your Ab Workouts

Warm up before you begin. Even if you are just going to do an abdominal workout, it is important to take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up. You can warm up by walking, jogging, biking, jumping rope, climbing stairs, or even just marching in place. Make sure that you include a warm up every time you work your abs.

  • Another option is to work out your abs after doing your usual cardio routine.

Build a 15 to 20 minute routine. To work out your abs, you need to do at least 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise you add to your routine. Set up your routine in a way that works for you. Ideally, you want your routine to be 15 or 20 minutes long, but as you get stronger, you may find you need to work out longer to get a similar benefit.

  • You may want to work out with a friend or family member who can watch your technique and keep time with you.
  • If you prefer to exercise on your own, use a kitchen egg timer or set an alarm on your mobile phone to keep the time.
  • Plan the days a week you’ll exercise, and make it a habit. You should do this workout at least three days a week. Doing it every day or other day will bring you more continuous results.

Increase resistance gradually. As you increase your core strength, you should be gradually making the exercises more difficult so that you continue to build strength and don’t plateau. You can do this by adding resistance bands or weights to your workout.

  • For example, if you’re doing sit-ups, you can add small hand weights or weighted wrist bands to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting and holding as you complete the exercise.
  • Ankle weights can be used to increase resistance for leg lifts.
  • Consider buying a set of ankle and wrist weights of varying weights so you don’t have to purchase more equipment every time you want to increase resistance.
  • Another way to increase resistance is to increase the length of time you hold the target position. For example, if you start doing leg lifts and holding your lift for 5 seconds, holding it for 10 seconds will make the exercise more difficult.

Stretch after you work out. Stretching helps to build flexibility and ease tension in the muscles that you use during a workout. Make sure that you include a basic 5 to 10 minute stretch routine at the end of your workout.

  • Basic side and forward bends, either standing or sitting, can help you to stretch and cool down after exercise. Bend slowly at the waist, and reach towards the floor. Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds while breathing through it.
  • You can also try the cobra pose from yoga. Lay down on the floor on your stomach with your arms beside you and the tops of your feet flat against the floor. Bend your arms at the elbow so that your palms are under your shoulders, palms flat against the floor. Slowly raise your upper body, lifting from the waist, until your arms are straight. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 seconds, then slowly lower back down to your starting position.

Method 3 Losing Weight for More Noticeable Abs

Focus on reps rather than resistance. Adding weight or resistance builds muscle, but additional repetitions of an exercise increases the exercise’s aerobic nature and helps burn fat. Do more exercises with lower weight or resistance if you want to work out your abs to lose weight.

  • If you want to lose weight while exercising, aim to start breaking a sweat during your warm up, and continue sweating throughout your entire routine.
  • Once you get your technique down for specific exercises, you can increase the fat-burning intensity by doing them faster.
  • For example, try to do 20 sit-ups in one minute. As that gets easier, gradually increase the number of sit-ups you do in one minute.

Combine intense exercise with slower exercises or stretches. With interval training, you divide your routine up into segments. One segment is highly intense exercise, followed by slower, more deliberate exercise. Then you do another intense interval, and so on.

  • Interval training can be highly effective for weight loss, and may decrease the chance of injury.
  • The slower intervals allow you to recover so you can push hard through the next intense interval.

Add aerobic exercise to your routine. If you want to lose weight, you need to increase your heart rate to get your body to start burning calories. If you do abdominal exercises without aerobic exercise, you run the risk of simply building muscles underneath a layer of fat, which won’t do anything to give you a slimmer appearance.

  • The easiest way to add aerobic exercise to your routine is to take a brisk walk or jog around the block a couple of times a day.
  • In inclement weather, you can always jog in place or do jumping jacks inside. You also may want to invest in a treadmill or exercise bike – but don’t think you have to spend a lot of money (or take up precious space in your home) buying exercise equipment just to get some aerobic exercise.
  • Balance your aerobic exercise with the specific exercises, such as leg lifts, planks, and sit-ups, that you’re doing to work out your abs.

Pay attention to your diet. No matter what exercises you do, you won’t lose much weight if you don’t control what you eat. Particularly if you’re trying to lose belly fat, focus on eating smaller portions of food with fresh ingredients.

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