Try these essential exercises for a marvellous midsection – we've included the beginners workout here too, so that if you've got time you can use them to warm up and test your performance.
Your abs are one of the easiest muscle groups to train at anytime in your own home. Besides looking great, a toned midsection is the core foundation of a healthy back, because strong abdominals will help give your torso the stability and support necessary to protect your back from injury.
Here are a few points to remember to make sure you target the right muscle group correctly:
These ab exercises takes only a few minutes, and if you follow them consistently with a healthy diet, they can help you develop the often-coveted set of washboard abs. You'll want to perform each of the following recommended exercises three to four days a week, aiming for one to three sets of 10–15 repetitions to begin with. As you become more advanced, increase the reps to 20–25. If you're using the right intensity and technique you shouldn't be able to manage more than 25–30 repetitions. If you can do more, you may need to tighten your form or increase your intensity by contracting hard at the top of each rep.
Target: This exercise forces you to keep your lower abs contracted so your back doesn't arch.
Technique: Lie down on the floor. Bend your knees and let them fall to the sides. Keep your feet together. Next, hold your head with your hands and lift your chin away from your chest. Contract your stomach and slowly lift both shoulders off the floor. Rock your hips forward, pause at the top and lower back to start.
Nicki's Tip: To get the best isolation, always keep your lower back pressed into the floor.
A great way to target both the upper and lower abs.
Technique: In a basic crunch position, bend one knee so the foot is flat on the floor. Straighten the other leg, holding it a few inches off the floor. Use your upper abs to raise your torso. Squeeze your lower abs and bring your knee as close to your face as you can, while keeping your lower back pressed into the floor. Flex your abs at the top and return to the start. Switch legs and repeat.
Nicki's Tip: Never let your shoulders or leg touch the floor. Try to keep your abs contracted throughout the entire exercise.
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