November 11, 2023 3 min read
Everyone wants toned, defined abs. It’s not just a cosmetic goal – strong abs can help improve your posture and reduce back pain. And while diet plays an important role in getting six-pack abs, so does exercise. To tone and define your abs, you need to build strength and endurance with targeted ab workouts.Shop The Collection: Push Up Bars
Crunches are one of the best ab exercises because they target all the major abdominal muscles. To do a crunch, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows out to the sides. Gently pull your abdominals in towards your spine and then lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Keep your neck relaxed and focus on using your core muscles to curl your torso up. Slowly lower back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.Shop The Gear: CAP Barbell Xtreme Doorway Pull Up Bar, $27.99 USD
There are several modifications for crunches that you can use to add variety to your workout. For example, you can do reverse crunches or bicycle crunches, which involve bringing one knee in towards your chest while extending the other leg out straight. You can also do oblique crunches, which involve twisting your torso as you come up and reaching across your body with one arm at a time.Shop The Collection: Stability & Balance Trainers
Planks are another great exercise for targeting your abs. Start by lying on your stomach, with your legs extended and your toes tucked under. Place your forearms on the ground, with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Tighten your core and press your hips and thighs up off the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Work your way up to holding the plank for 2 to 3 minutes.Shop The Gear: BOSU PRO Balance Trainer, $213.99 USD
You can also modify the plank to make it more challenging. For example, you can try side planks, where you prop yourself up on one arm and hold your body off the ground for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can also do mountain climbers, which involve alternating between bringing one knee in towards your chest and extending it out again. This works your arms, legs, and core at the same time.
Pilates is a great way to target your abs and build core strength. It involves performing a series of controlled movements that strengthen your abdominals and help improve your posture. The Pilates hundred, for example, is a classic exercise for toning the abs. To do the hundred, start by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground and reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Pump your arms up and down, inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts. Do this for 10 sets of five breaths.
Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, so it’s great if you have any joint problems. You can also do modified versions of the exercises if you’re just starting out. And if you don’t have access to a Pilates class, there are plenty of videos online that you can follow.
Resistance training is another great way to work your abs and build strength. You can use resistance bands, free weights, or bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges to target your core. When doing resistance exercises, be sure to keep your core engaged and your spine in a neutral position. Focus on using your abdominals to stabilize your body and maintain good form.
There are a few specific exercises that target your abs. Toe taps, for example, involve lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Lift your legs off the ground and tap your toes against the ground, keeping your core engaged. You can also do Russian twists with a medicine ball or weight plate, which involve sitting on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Twist your torso from side to side, keeping your arms straight and your core tight.
Toning and defining your abs doesn’t have to be complicated – a few simple exercises can go a long way. Crunches, planks, Pilates, and resistance training are all great ways to target your abs and build strength. Try to include a variety of these exercises in your routine to keep your workouts interesting and effective. With consistency and dedication, you’ll be able to get those toned, defined abs you’ve always wanted.