After years and years of trying to get and maintain a flat stomach, I finally decided to research the matter. I have asked multiple personal trainers and read WAY too many articles on on Ab Workouts. What I have found is that there are 3 workouts that are thhe most effective for you abs. Surprisingly they are the Bicycle Exercise, the Captain’s chair and the Yoga Ball Crunch. The standard crunch didn’t even make the top 10.
The bicycle exercise is the most effective ab exercise you can do, and you know why after the first one! I had been doing regular crunches for years and was up to 150-200 a day, thought I was doing great. Then I found out the bicycle exercise is better for you and more effective, so, of course, I switched. After the 1st one I was astonished at how this seemingly “easy” looking exercise could be more difficult than the standard crunch. I could only do about 25 before my whole form fell completely apart and I had to stop. Now to do this exercise correctly:
- Lie face up on floor and lace your fingers behind your head
- Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on the neck.
- Straighten the left leg to about 45 degree angle while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.
- Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee
- Continue alternating sides in a pedaling motion for 12-16 reps.
The second exercise on my list is the Captain’s Chair. This is the one exercise you pretty much have to do in a gym. This machine can be found in most fitness centers. To do this exercise:
- Stand on a chair and grip the handholds to stabilize and balance your body
- Push your back to the pad and contract your abs to raise your legs and lift your knees to your chest.
- Don’t let your back arch and remember to breathe smoothly
- Lower your legs back down and repeat 12-15 reps
The last ab exercise is the Exercise Ball Crunch Or Yoga Ball Crunch. I am sure you have seen this done on many shows and commercials. It is very popular because of the great results you get from it and the fact all you need is the yoga ball. Many people don’t like lying on the floor doing crunches so this is a great alternative. Just follow these steps to do this crunch:
- Lie face-up with ball resting under your mid/lower back
- Cross your arms over your chest or place them behind your head
- Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down towards your hips.
- As you curl up, keep the ball stable (you shouldn’t roll, easier said than done, I know)
- Lower back down, getting a stretch in abs, repeat for 12-15 reps
Now if you incorporate these into your exercise program, you will definately start to see a difference. Remember to eat healthy and drink lots of water!!