Acquiring a six-pack is probably high on one’s list of fitness chart. Workouts for great abdominal muscles don’t have to be hours’ long or need sophisticated type of equipment. The workouts only need to hit the right muscles and the right amount of reps.
Abdominal muscles consist of three layers – the deep, the intermediate and the superficial. When talking of six-pack we generally mean the superficial layer.
Listed below are some of the best home exercises which should be enough when working out for your core.
Beginners are better off just performing three exercises out of the list below for just two sets each of as many reps as possible with 60 seconds rest in between.
Afterwards, having built up the endurance, keep adding the exercises.
Step 1: Lie down flat on your back and place your hands behind your head.
Step 2: Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. This is your starting position.
Step 3: Elbows flared, tighten your abs and lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor.
Hold at the top for a second and then return back to starting position.
Important Tip: Don't pull your shoulders up with your hands. Instead, use your abs to lift off the floor. Raise your torso just enough to get your shoulder blades off the floor.
#2 Reverse Crunch
Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees together and your legs bent to 90 degrees, feet planted on the floor.
Step 2: Place your palms face down on the floor for support.
Step 3: Tighten your abs to lift your hips off the floor as you crunch your knees inward to your chest.
Step 4: Pause at the top for a moment, then lower back down without allowing your lower back to arch and losing contact with the floor. Repeat as recommended.
Important Tip: Don’t attempt to do the exercise too quickly. Rather, lower your legs slowly and in a controlled way. This exercise is very effective for building a strong lower abdomen.
Next up: Double Crunch and Modified V-Ups
#3 Double Crunch
Step 1: After lying flat on your back, place your hands behind your head. Bring your feet close and knees are bent. Place your feet flat on the ground.
Step 2: Flare out elbows to the side and behind your head, brace your core and lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground. Also, bring your knees simultaneously to your chest.
At top of movement contract the core, pause, return to starting position thereafter. Repeat as recommended.
Important Tip: Raise your shoulders and upper back completely off of the ground. Do not pull on the back of your head and strain the neck.
#4 Modified V-Ups
Step 1: Sit on the floor with legs extended in front and hands placed on the sides for support.
Step 2: Bring your legs up as far as possible while at the same time bringing your torso towards them, as you breathe in.
While returning to the start position, breath out and repeat as recommended.
Important Tip: Maintain full control of your movements.
Next up: Knee-Ins and Sit-Up
Step 1: Sit on the floor (or on the edge of a chair) with your legs extended in front of you and your hands holding on to the sides for support.
Step 2: Keeping your knees together, pull your knees in towards your chest as you exhale until you can go no further.
Return to the start position as you inhale. Repeat as recommended.
Important Tip: Avoid fast motions and maintain full control of the movement.
Step 1: Lie down with legs bent at the knees.
Step 2: Place your hands behind your head and lock them together by clasping your fingers. Secure your legs under some heavy furniture.
Step 3: Lift your upper body so that it creates a V-shape with your thighs. Breathe out when performing this part of the exercise.
Important Tip: Once you feel the contraction for a second, lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling. Repeat as recommended. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth.
Next up: Jackknife and Leg Raise
#7 Jackknife Sit-Up
Step 1: Lie flat on the floor on your back with your arms extended straight back behind your head and your legs extended also. This will be your starting position.
Step 2: While breathing out, bend at the waist while simultaneously raising your legs and arms to meet in a jackknife position.
Step 3: While inhaling, lower your arms and legs back to the starting position. Repeat as recommended
Important Tip: The legs should be extended and lifted at approximately at 35-45 degree angle from the floor and the arms should be extended and parallel to your legs. The upper torso should be off the floor.
#8 Leg Raise
Step 1: Lie with your back flat on a bench or floor, your legs extended in front of you.
Step 2: Place your hands by your side for support with your palms down or by the sides holding on to the bench.
Step 3: Raise your legs as straight as possible with your knees slightly bent but locked until they make a 90-degree angle with the floor.
Breathe out as you perform this portion of the movement and hold the contraction at the top for a second.
As you inhale, slowly lower your legs back down. Repeat as recommended.
Important Tip: Avoid the temptation to let your legs drop on the negative portion of the movement.
Next up: Toe Touchers
#9 Toe Touchers
Step 1: Lie down on the floor or an exercise mat. Your arms should be lying at your sides with the palms facing down for support. Your legs should be touching each other.
Step 2: Slowly raise your legs up in the air until they are almost perpendicular to the floor.
Step 3: Move your arms so that they are fully extended at a 45-degree angle from the floor. This is the starting position.
Step 4: While breathing out and lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lift the torso and use your hands to try and touch your toes.
Slowly begin to lower your torso and arms back down to the starting position while inhaling. Repeat as recommended.
Important Tip: Remember to keep your arms straight out pointing towards your toes.
Which of these exercises would you incorporate in your daily routine? Tell us in the comments below!