Stomach fat is one of the major worries of most adults today. Some teens have fat stomachs even if they are not actually fat. So having a big stomach does not necessarily mean you're fat, but it certainly looks embarrassing; especially when wearing tight fitting clothes.
Achieving flat abs is by no means an easy task. Some say that it is pretty hard, so don't go expecting that this is an overnight fix. It takes patience, perseverance, and self-control to achieve the look that others will envy. However, it is always about the right exercise, which is why I am going to give you the 5 most effective ways to flatten your abs (see list below).
5 Effective Abdominal Exercises:
- Bicycle Crunch- This exercise has been said to be the most effective way to have fit and sexy abs. Compared to other abs exercises, the Bicycle Crunch exercise doesn't need expensive equipment to practice on; instead, all that you need to do is follow these simple steps at home or at your office.
- Lie flat on a yoga mat or lightly foamed flat surface.
- Put your hands on the back of your head or slightly behind your ears.
- Bring one knee up about 45 degree angle.
- As you bring right knee up, raise your head a bit and touch it with your left elbow. Do the same with your left knee and right elbow. Your legs should be moving like pedaling a bicycle. Do this simultaneously.
- Breathe evenly throughout the exercise.
Start counting each bicycle crunch 1-10 if you just started, so that you can tolerate the pain. Every other day add 5 or 10 crunches. The reason behind this is that you could stress out yourself physically too much if you start at 20 or 30 too quickly; which may lead to stomach muscle pain. You may still experience stomach muscle pains if you start at 10 bicycle crunches, but you should be able to tolerate more.
2.Captain's Chair- Taken from its name, the Captain's Chair exercise is heavy gym equipment that forms a chair with long legs and no seat. But be aware that this exercise must be done properly in order to target your abs. You should also take note that this exercise takes a great weight on the lumbar spine and is only recommended to athletes.
- Stand in the front of the Captain's Chair; your body should be facing opposite the device.
- Rest your arms on the padded armrests and grip the handles located at the end of the armrests.
- Lift and curve your legs as if in a sitting position. Do these as you press your arms against the padded armrests. To add more force, grip the handles tightly.
- After you lift your legs up, slowly drop your feet and your legs into a standing position. Then repeat to lifting your legs again. Repeat this 12 to 16 times minimum.
- During the lifting of your legs, make sure you don't curve your back or swing your legs up and down. This will negatively affect the result of the exercise.
If you just started doing the Captain's Chair, condition your body with the extraneous muscle activity. Start by doing warm ups and also repeat the steps for only 3 sets (9 times) so as not to shock your muscles. As you progress, add 1 or 2 more sets.
3. Ab Crunch on an Exercise Ball- it is an abdominal exercise that is taken from sit up exercise. The only difference is that it is facilitated by an exercise ball. Although this would cost you more than the simple sit ups, this one is more comfy and fun to do.
- Sit on the exercise ball.
- Lie down with the exercise ball on your lower back.
- Place your hands at the back of your head or slightly behind your ears.
- Keep your legs together or slightly apart.
- Then lift your torso with the use of your abdomen contraction. Push your chin down as if you are going to squeeze a lemon between your chin and your chest. Keep the ball stable or in place.
- Just repeat steps 2 and 4 for about 30 times a day.
In doing this exercise, there's a chance you may strain your neck. To avoid neck strain, try a neck flexor movement by pushing your tongue to the roof of your mouth as before and during step 2 and 4. And to keep the exercise ball in place, have someone to hold your feet down while you are exercising.
4. Vertical Leg Crunch- Instead of exhausting Bicycle Crunch, you can opt to more stable and easier Vertical Leg Crunch exercise. This exercise only requires minimal effort from both legs and torso.
- Lie down on a flat surface. You may use yoga mat or lightly foamed material.
- Put your hands at the back of your head with your fingers interlocked together.
- Lift your legs up vertically.
- Then contract your abdomen as you raise your chest slightly closer to your thighs. Hold this posture in few seconds.
- After that, lie back down again as you put down your legs slowly. Don't bend your legs as you put it down.
- Repeat the exercise 10 to 20 times a day.
5. Torso Track- is another abdominal exercise that requires equipment in order to facilitate. You should take note that this exercise may cause back pain if done too much or improperly. So be careful in using this as an exercise for your abdomen. Those who already have backaches, don't opt for Torso Track.
- Position: Rest your knees on the knee pads and grip the handles.
- Inhale through your nose and hold and push your stomach in as you inhale and hold your breathe.
- Then exhale through your mouth slowly as you push the handle forward.
- As you resume to the original position, inhale slowly again through your nose and hold breathe when the handle is back in place.
- Repeat this 1 set (10 times) only and add 1 to 2 more sets as you progress. Do these exercises at least 3 to 5 times a week.
These 5 effective abdomen exercises are just a guide and the positive result will always depend on you in order for it to be effective. So if you start one of these exercises, you should do it regularly combined with proper diet.