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The Truth About Ab Workouts

Tone your abs in six weeks with these workout tips for a flat midsection.

Lie on stability ball holding a dumbbell with both your arms above your head. Contract your abs and move into a sit-up position, while keeping the dumbbell weight above your head.

Getting a toned, flat midsection is no easy feat, especially for a budding fitness enthusiast. Not understanding all the facts involved in creating an ideal abdominal workout may also hinder your progress and potential achievements to creating the sleek six pack you’ve always wanted.

First and foremost, let’s clear the air about a couple of well known myths regarding women’s abdominal exercises. No, working about your midsection will not cause you to grow thick around the waist. Excessive fat over and under your abs muscle is what should be blamed when you start to experience growth around the middle. The abdominal muscles are thin layers of muscle that are not designed to grow large.

Exercising your midsection is also commonly thought to increase the risk of injury to ones lower back but nothing could be further from the truth. Utilizing your core will actually help protect your back as long as proper form and technique are used. The actual odds of injuring yourself are the same for abdominal exercises as for any other type of exercise.  Being smart about the type of resistance being used, controlling each movement, and executing each exercise using the right technique will ensure a safe and efficient abdominal workout every time.

The secret to a more effective workout is to add some weight or resistance to it. Abdominal muscles respond in the same way as any other muscle in the body. When you place them under stress, you force them to recover and rebuild to a stronger point than previously allowing you to increase your core strength and muscle tone. Adding weights will also provide a quicker and more effective means to exercising. Instead of having to go through an increasingly higher amount of reps, the added resistance will provide a much quicker exhaustion point giving you noticeable results faster.

The easiest ways to add weight and resistances to your abdominal workouts are through using dumbbells, weight plates and even medicine balls. If you are new to working out, begin the first three months with non-weight abs exercises before initiating weighted abdominal exercises.

Try this workout for defined abs in six weeks when performed three times per week.

Weighted stability ball crunch

SET UP: Position yourself laying face up on a stability ball, with your knees bent at a 90’ angle with the floor and your hands holding a weight plate with your arms directly above your shoulders.

MOVEMENT:  While keeping your arms extended above you, curl up from your waist until your upper back is off of the stability ball. Lower and repeat.

Standing torso rotation

SET UP: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in between your hands with your arms extended in front of you.

MOVEMENT: Tighten and contract your abs while you move your arms from side to side, without bending. Change the tempo slightly to avoid getting used to the movement.

Inclined reverse crunch with medicine ball

SET UP: Sit at the end of a bench and slightly lean back, until you’re roughly at a 45’ angle from the bench. Put a medicine ball in between your knees and raise your legs up until you are in a ‘V’ position.  

MOVEMENT: Bring your knees in towards your body keeping the medicine ball firmly in place and then extend them back out.

Declined weighted crunch

SET UP: On a declined bench, lie face up with your knees bent and feet tucked underneath the pads. Hold a weight plate with your arms extended positioned directly over your shoulders.

MOVEMENT: Contract your abs and curl forward. Lift your upper back, shoulders and head off of the bench. Lower your torso back down and repeat.


Also see: The Truth About Six Pack Abs Review



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