While you might associate abdominal training with gaining a six-pack, working your abs should be a priority in everyone’s workout routines. Strong abdominal muscles create a good foundation for your health and allow you to have good posture, reduce the chance of lower back pain, and increase your overall strength for other activities and sports. Regardless of your current fitness level, there are abdominal exercises suitable for you, and these can easily be added to your current workout routine. These are some of the best exercises for individuals of all fitness levels that can help to increase your core strength, and you’ll quickly feel and see the difference by adding these into your training sessions.
This is probably the number one core exercise globally and is used by athletes of all levels to build core strength. It’s ideal for beginners, and can easily be modified for all fitness levels by lowering your knees to the ground to begin with. Consider adding leg lifts, arm lifts, or hip twists for a greater challenge for more advanced athletes. The most important thing to remember when in a plank is to keep your lower back straight, as you don’t want to dump extra weight or pressure into your back while performing this move.
Russian twists are a staple move in many fitness classes, and there are a whole host of different variations to increase the difficulty level. If you’ve mastered the basic twist, consider raising your feet off the ground for a greater challenge, or holding a weight or weighted ball in your hands. Ensure your chest is lifted throughout your reps and that you don’t hunch your back at all.
If you have access to a barbell or abs roller, try abs roll-outs using either of these pieces of equipment. Keep your shoulders, hips and knees aligned, and you want to maintain control while rolling the barbell away from your body. Keep your hips aligned at all times when performing this exercise, and you’ll soon begin to increase your core stability in no time at all.
One of the best all-round abdominal exercises is the bicycle crunch, as it works both your abs and obliques. In one exercise, you’ll be able to get an all-over abs workout without putting too much intense pressure or strain on your body. Ensure you aren’t pulling on your neck and head when holding your hands behind your head, and to keep things interesting, vary the speed of each set.
Pilates is one of your best options if you are looking for an overall class or workout that can improve your core stability. Pilates uses slow and controlled movements, and focuses on your pelvic floor and building your abdominal muscles. It’s the ideal workout for beginners or those recovering from injury, and while it may not look or feel like you are doing a lot, it’s one of the best workouts for gaining strength and lengthening muscles.
Abdominal training is an essential element of any good workout routine. Anyone who is passionate about working out should ensure that they focus on this area at least once or twice a week. If you are working towards your dream six-pack, remember nutrition also plays a huge factor in this, so ensure you are enjoying a balanced and healthy diet for best results.