If you are dreaming for rock-solid abs, you need to know that you cannot achieve them only by crunching, as it places a lot of strain on other body areas, like the spine, lower back, and neck.
On the other hand, you should start eating healthy and try to burn more calories than you consume. Your exercise should target each of the upper and lower abdominal muscles and works them from every possible angle.
The following program of 6 exercises will help you tone all your abdominal muscles, burn extra fat, and build muscle mass.
Do them in straight sets, making a 30- second break between sets, or in a circuit with no rest between exercises. Here is all you need to do in order to get the ripped abs from the commercials:
- Straight leg raises
While lying on the back, relax the back and head on the ground, and extend the legs, keeping them straight and close together. Then, slowly elevate your legs straight up towards the ceiling, and hold for a few seconds. Then, slowly return to the initial position.
- Flutter kicks
Start in the same position, and extend the arms to the sides. Tighten the abs and hold the legs straight out and lifted about six inches above the ground. Then, raise the left leg higher than the right leg, then lower it as you raise the right leg higher, but quickly, in a scissor-like motion. To control the movements, you can tuck the hands underneath the glutes. You should make 5 sets of 15 repetitions.
- Side raises
Lie on the side with a straight body, with the body weight distributed on the forearm, and the feet on top of each other. Then, raise the hips up off of the ground, powering the movement with the forearm, and thus aligning the body from the head to the feet.
Hold for several seconds, and slowly lower the hips. Repeat in 5 sets of 15 repetitions.
- Oblique crunches
Start in the same position, but with the knees bent, and the left hand behind the head. Then, move the left elbow up and crunch as high as you can. Hold for several seconds, and contract the obliques. Next, return to the initial position and make several repetitions before you switch sides. Perform 5 sets of 30 reps.
- Reverse hip crunch thrusts
You should lie on the back, with the head and neck on the floor, the arms by the sides, bent knees and flat feet. Next, roll the legs up towards the ears, bringing the hips up towards you, and hold for several seconds. You should make 5 sets of 15 repetitions.
- Alternating elbow-to-knee
Lying on the back, with the arms crossed across the chest so that the right hand rests on the left shoulder and the left hand rests on the right shoulder, crunch up and bring the right elbow towards the left knee.
Next, return to the floor, and alternate to the other side. You should perform 5 sets of 30 repetitions.
These simple, but highly effective exercises will definitely get your abdominal area burning, and will help you impress all this summer!