Let us take a look at some workouts that you can do in your own home. These exercises will help you look great and more importantly feel great. And since they don’t require more than 10 or 15 minutes a day 3 to 5 times a week you will still have time to do all the things in life you really like to do.
1. The Abdominal Crunch -The core piece of a great ab workout
When done properly, the basic crunch is superb at building the abdominal strength and toned look that you are searching for. When you combine it with a few other variations of the basic crunch you will get a powerful workout. Here is the way to do it correctly.
Lie down with your back on the floor. Bend your knees to a 45 degree angle with your feet on the floor. Place your hands to the sides of your head. Your eyes should be up. Look to the ceiling at all times.
Keep your lower back flat against the floor. Contract your abs. Your stomach should be in slightly.
Begin to lift your shoulders a couple of inches off the floor. Remember to exhale as you do. Pause for a few moments before slowly returning your shoulders to the floor. Do not hold your breath.
Do 15 reps and then rest for a few moments. Repeat the whole process two more times for a total of 3 sets.
Sounds easy right? Well, maybe simple is a better word for it. Some key points to remember though are to go slowly. It’s much better for your muscles when the workout is slow and smooth. Also, remember the breathing and avoid pulling on your neck or head, which can lead to problems down the road.
Now for the variations.
2. The Long Arm Crunch
The Long Arm Crunch is performed in the same manner as the basic crunch except for the position of the hands and arms. For this exercise put your arms straight out over your head and clasp your hands. Your arms should be touching or close to touching your ears.
3. The Reverse Crunch
Lie with your back on the floor and your hands behind your head. Raise your legs so that your thighs are straight up or perpendicular to the floor. Your knees should be bent with your calves parallel to the floor. When in position, flex your abs and lift your hips off of the floor a short distance. Pause and return to the floor. Remember to go slow and smoothly while exhaling.
4. The Abdominal Crunch on an Exercise Ball
Using an exercise ball, lie back on top of the ball with the ball directly under your mid section. Your feet should be on the floor for stability with your hands at the side of your head. Slowly raise your shoulders no more than 45 degrees, then pause and return
So far, the exercises we have looked at primarily work the Rectus Abdominis, which is basically the ab muscle directly in front. It’s the one that produces the 6 pack or 10 pack abs we often think of. To also work the internal and external obliques try these next variations of the crunch.
5. The Bicycle Crunch
Lie on the floor in the same position as the Reverse Crunch. Slowly begin moving your legs in a bicycle motion. Lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor, then start working your abs by touching your elbow to the opposite sided knee. Next alternate and touch your other elbow to your other knee. Repeat 15-16 times and then rest. Do 3 sets of 15-16 reps total.
6. The Crossover Crunch
Lie on the floor in the basic crunch position. Now cross your legs so that your left ankle is resting on your right knee. Perform a crunch while twisting so that your right elbow to your left knee. Return your shoulders to the floor. Do 15 reps and then switch so that your left elbow touches your right knee.
Now you can see that there are quite a few exercises you can do to get great abs simply using the crunch. We will finish up by looking at two more exercises which are not crunches, but will compliment the crunch nicely and in time will leave you with great looking abs.
7. Standing Side Bend
For this exercise stand with your feet together and your arms over your head with your hands clasped. Slowly bend to one side as far as you can while pushing your hips to the opposite side. Hold the pose for a few seconds then slowly straighten up. Then repeat the process to your opposite side. If balance is a problem don’t bend so far. If balance is still a problem spread your feet slightly more. An often used variation of this exercise involves keeping your arms down and holding small or even not small weights. Do not move the hips if you use weights.
8. Standing Torso Twist
Stand with your feet spread just a little more than shoulder width apart. Bend slightly at the knees while keeping your back straight. Your head and your hips should be facing forward. Raise your arms to each side keeping them parallel to the floor and directly opposite each other. Begin turning your shoulders as far as you can without moving your hips or head. Your arms should stay in a straight line and should not swing around to have both on one side of your body. Exhale as you twist. Then turn your shoulders in the other direction.
These workouts, performed regularly along with healthy nutrition and cardiovascular exercise, will give you the tight abs that you desire. For variety, do 4 of the workouts listed here each day. At the start of each week select a different set of 4. And for help with the discipline aspect of exercise, try keeping an exercise log or journal.