It’s no news that physical activity does the body and mind a huge favor. Exercising comes in many shapes and forms (no pun intended), but some exercises cover the entire body of muscles, thus enhancing your core, too.
If you care to tone you physique, lose a few pounds, or simply get active, here the core relies on your abs for strength. That said, shaping the abdominal muscles is more relevant than just having a ‘six-pack’ to show off.
However, while abs are not as easy to shape, especially if we are talking lower abs, consistency and dedication matter. But, so do the most effective exercises which provide the best core and abs strength to date. And here are the top 8:
1. Plank Row
- Begin with a plank, and place a glider under each foot. As an alternative, use paper plates or towels.
- Hold posture and press on the gliders and slide legs behind you, still holding your frame.
- Extend the arms and then pull the body back in its initial position.
- Engage the abs and don’t lose the posture along the way.
- Do 15 of these (back and forth counts as one).
- Start in a plank, keeping palms beneath the shoulder, hips, and feet at the same width.
- Pull the knees by using the gliders, keeping them 4 inches ahead of your hips.
- Return to plank, engaging the core and drawing the navel in.
- Do 15 reps for up to 45 second.
3. One-Legged Mountain Climber
- While in a plank, pull the right knee into your chest.
- Keep the knee stead and slide the left knee back, keeping it levelled with the hips.
- Do 15 repetitions and repeat in the other side.
4. Army Crawl
- Holding a plank posture, squeeze the butt cheeks tight, gliders under each foot.
- Support yourself on the forearms and crawl five steps forward, so the gliders touch the end of the mat.
- Crawl back to initial posture.
- Hold plank steady and keep the hips strong and your legs straight.
- Repeat 5 times, counting back-and-forth as one rep.
- Take a seat on your tailbone, and lower back until you are in a sit-up posture. Use a ball or a pillow, and squeeze it between your thighs.
- Support your body on the elbows and keep the height steady at all times.
- Stretch by arching your back, tucking your tailbone and pushing the low back down at the same time.
- Scoot the elbows and support yourself on the backs of the thighs.
- Pull shoulders down, raise the chin, and keep the elbows wide.
- Take light weights and keep arms next to your knees.
- Put the arms down and tap on the floor, lifting back to original posture thereafter.
- Repeat and hold the curve for 60-90 seconds.
6. Hip Tips
- Beggin on your back, keeping the legs straight, reaching for a 90-degree angle.
- Squeeze a ball between the thighs and place hands on the sides.
- Press on the ball and tip the hips up. Don’t rock or jolt the hips, but initiate a lighter, low-abs movement.
- Release halfway and repeat.
- Do a total of 20 reps.
- Move to more advanced level and use weights while doing the exercise.
- Lie on the ground, forming an X shape, holding a weight in each hand.
- Lift the left hand and shift the weight towards the right shin.
- Lift your torso while doing it, pulling the belly into the back.
- The goal is to reach a tailbone-supported posture by rolling the body up.
- For an easier version, come onto the elbows and work your way from there.
- Go back to the ground, and keep the leg straight to get into a full inner stretch.
- Make 24-30 reps total.
8. Six Pack Scissor
- Beggin on your back, and hug one knee into the chest.
- Keep the other leg extended and 2 inches off the ground.
- Lift the upper body high and raise the hugged leg upwards, at a 90-degree angle.
- For a deeper stretch, intertwine your fingers behind your head.
- Raise the left foot and support on the right heel, also tipping your hips.
- Bring the leg back in initial position and raised half an inch off the ground. to its starting position a half-inch from the ground.
Benefits of Growing Stronger Abs
There are many advantages in making your abs stronger, besides the obvious aesthetics. Some of these include:
- Stronger core
- Stronger lower waist
- Improved posture
- Proper breathing
- Weight loss
Now, let’s make some fine-looking abs!