As summer approaches, everyone wants to have perfect-looking and attractive abs which will make you look great in a bikini. Any piece of clothing looks better on a toned body, so it’s no wonder why women often focus on ab exercises before the summer. In order to get the most out of your ab-workout routine, you should incorporate the following tips and tricks:
1. Keep it slow
Doing 50 or 100 crunches doesn’t matter – how you perform the exercises does. Don’t just go through the numbers and aim big – it’s better to make 25 crunches slow, then rush to 100. Going slow is the best way to tone your muscles. Your muscles will hurt afterwards which is a clear sign that the exercise worked.
2. Don’t forget to breathe
Many people forget to breathe properly during a workout and keep the air in longer than they need to. However, your muscles certainly need oxygen in order to work properly, so make sure to inhale and exhale deeply while you’re working out. If you’re doing crunches, inhale while going down to the floor and exhale while lifting back up.
3. Imagine an apple between your jaws and chest
Putting your chin on your chest during crunches is a big mistake – this makes the abs contract easier, and you’re also putting too much unnecessary pressure on your neck. It may seem easier to do the exercises this way, but remember – easier doesn’t mean more effective.
4. Do crunches on a Pilates ball
The Pilates ball will force you to keep balance, and by stabilizing your body, you will activate major and minor muscle groups that will burn even more fat. In fact, all balancing exercises will strengthen your core muscles and tone your waistline better than anything else.
5. Pay attention to the lower back muscles
If you want to make your abs look perfect, paying attention to the lower back muscles is a must as well. Here’s a simple exercise which will tone these muscles:
- Kneel down on the floor and lean on your hands.
- Squeeze the abs and extend your right arm, while extending your left leg backwards.
- Once you’re comfortable, start moving the arm and leg up and down – do 12 repetitions of the movement.
- Repeat the process with the opposite arm and leg.
6. Rest for a day
Exercising every day is a big mistake as your muscles need time to heal. According to experts, ab exercises should be done every few days in order to be effective.
7. Don’t repeat the same workout every day
Our muscles are pretty smart – they have the ability to learn and remember. By practicing the same set every day, they will get used to the challenge pretty soon and the effect will be unnoticeable. Any kind of change in the technique or frequency is a new challenge for your muscles and will engage them fully. Don’t train like a robot – include some new thing in your routine every day. It will keep things fun and help you achieve great results in a short time.
Here are a few exercises which will work wonders for your abs:
The plank is a highly popular exercise that will work wonders for your abs and almost all major muscle groups. It’s a great substitute for crunches, and will work on muscle groups that crunches don’t engage. However, it’s important to learn how to do the plank properly so it can work.
Go down in a pushup position and lean on your elbows, making sure that you’re forming a straight line with your back. Now, squeeze your abs and stay in that position for 20-30 seconds (or as much as you can) and repeat the process every day. The plank can be done anywhere and anytime, and is not so easy as it looks. However, it will surely bring positive results.
The excess belly fat on the sides of the abdominal area is a common problem for thousands of people around the world. If you like to tone your abs and make them look great, you should also try the side plank. This exercise will target the excess belly fat on the sides of your stomach and make you look even better.
To do the side plank, go down on one side of your body and extend your legs, then raise your body by leaning on the arm under you. Keep the other arm beneath your hip, and squeeze your abs while raising your hips off the floor. Keep the position for at least 15-20 seconds or more. Just like the plank, the side plank doesn’t require any special equipment and can be done pretty much anywhere.
Besides these exercises, you also need to pay more attention to your diet in order to make your abs attractive. According to nutritionists and fitness experts, you should avoid sodas and soft drinks as well as processed, fried and fast food, while also staying away from sugar. Make sure to include protein-rich foods like lean meat into your diet, and eat plenty of fruits and veggies as well to tone your abs just in time for summer.