If you want to get defined abs, you’ve got some hard work ahead of you. Fortunately, if you choose the right targeted exercises, you’ll be well on your way. Pair these with a healthy diet and fat burning exercise for the awesome definition in the least time.
The basic plank pose looks just like push-up position, except your hands are placed directly beneath your shoulders, rather than wider as in a push up. It can be modified by balancing on your forearms instead of hands. You should work up to holding this pose for two to three minutes at time. It works your abdominals and lower back, plus your shoulders, chest, quads, calves and glutes. You don’t need a rest day with this pose. In fact, you can do it more than once per day. The more you build strength in these muscles, the longer you’ll be able to hold the pose.
Rather than balancing on both hands and both feet, as with the standard plank, in side plank you will balance on one hand and one foot. It looks easier than it feels. The side plank pays special attention to your obliques. It also works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hips. You can simplify this move by balancing on one forearm, rather than hand, to make it easier. If you need more of a challenge, lift your top leg and arm into the air while holding this pose. If you’re just starting with planks, try 30 seconds first. Add five seconds per week and work up to minutes.
Sit at the edge of a chair, plant your hands, lift your feet off the floor, then lift your butt off the chair. Sound complicated? It’s really not. Just make sure you have a sturdy stair, so you don’t wind up tipping over. Hold the move for as many second as you can, preferably at least five seconds. Repeat the move for one minute. This move works both upper and lower abdominals, arms, legs, and chest. You can do it every day.
Standing Core Stabilization
Choose a dumbbell at a comfortable weight, such as three- to ten-pounds. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise the dumbbell to chest level, arms straight. Bring your arms across your body to the right, then to the left to complete one repetition. Do not twist at the waist while doing this move. Your torso should only move slightly. The goal with this move is to keep your whole core engaged and your movement slow and controlled.
This move builds on traditional skaters by adding a jump in the middle for a calorie torching burst of movement. Begin with your weight on your right leg, left leg lifted slightly behind you. Bend forward, reaching your left arm toward your right foot. Push off your right leg into a jump, bringing your hands together in front of your chest before landing on your left foot. Balancing on your left foot, raise your right leg slightly behind you. Bend forward, then reach your right arm toward your left foot. The whole move counts as one repetition.
When women are pregnant, the uterus expands upward (and outward). As more space become necessary for the growing baby, the abdominal muscles begin to separate right down the center of your core. This separation is called diastasis recti. Before you begin ab training, you should check to see if you have diastasis recti. Crunches are known to worsen this condition. If you suspect that you have it, discuss with your doctor or trainer which ab work would be best for you.
All five moves can be done on their own or as part of a larger fitness regimen. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness routine.