Today we will tackle one of those flashy muscle groups which everybody likes to talk about. That’s right, we’re gonna talk about abs. Nothing shines like a well-built six-pack, right?
There are plenty of reasons why you want to build strong abs and if you’re thinking “Oh I wanna look good with my shirt off” well, you’re not catching our drift. While that is sweet and dandy, we’ve set our priority list of reasons a bit differently.
Besides looking insanely cool, you also want a strong abdomen because of movement stability and of course, a good posture. These two play a key role in maintaining not only a strong body but a healthy one too. Abs tend to get overlooked at times so don’t allow yourself the luxury of having strong legs or shoulders with a core that’s lacking.
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In building your core muscles you eliminate the possibility of pesky and persistent injuries. Lower back pain, hip pain, lordosis, you name it. The list just goes on.
So let’s forget about that list altogether and show you exactly how you can build a strong core and reach your fitness goals. With just a couple of exercises, you can make some serious abdomen gains happen in no time.
The good thing about this muscle group is that you don’t need a complete training regimen dedicated just to abs. You can insert these few exercises at the end of your regular workout session and finish your workout in the best way possible.
Hanging leg raises
The first exercise we recommend is the hanging leg raise. Now, this exercise is very popular but it is also performed incorrectly a bunch of times. Why? Because it isn’t the most straightforward exercise in the world. There are a lot of muscles being put into work while you perform this one so it’s kind of easy to get it wrong.
Let’s go over the steps you ought to take if you want to reap the most out of this exercise. With just a few simple steps you’ll soon be raising your shirt and proudly flexing your abs.
- Find yourself a bar from which you can completely hang. You don’t want your feet touching the ground since that will make things more complicated.
- The next thing you want to do is put your feet together. Your feet should be touching each other at all times during the exercise.
- Now, you slowly raise your feet up with your legs as straight as possible. This is the hard part. Your legs will try bending but you can’t let them.
- Concentrate on the movement and try lifting your legs up only using your abdomen. Other muscle groups should rest as much as possible (other than the lats since they have to work, right?).
- If you’re not already screaming in agonizing pain, well, you soon will be. Once you’ve reached a certain point past which you can’t go further you want to pause the movement and hold your legs still. Yes, it will hurt even more but that’s what we want.
- After that, you can slowly start lowering your legs to the starting position. Once you’ve got yourself a nice, clean rep, take a deep breath and go for another one. You want to do as much of these as you can. Find yourself a sweet spot when it comes to the number of reps by listening to your body. You will know very well when it’s time to stop.
The incline sit-up
Besides having a fancy name, this exercise is also renowned for leaving people in the dirt. This total ab-killer is basically an isometric type of exercise – that means you don’t have to move much, just simply hold one position.
That doesn’t mean that it’s going to get easier from here on. In fact, it’s only going to get tougher since you’ve just gone through some serious stress because of the hanging leg raise. But, you’re the one who wanted a sexy six-pack so don’t quit now.
- Start by finding an incline bench you can sit on. You want to have a drop and that means you’ll be fighting gravity on this one.
- Once you have your core in a 45-degree angle or a “V-shape” you want to pause the movement and hold it for as long as you can.
- Since you can’t beat gravity you will eventually fatigue with your abs begging for mercy. At that point, you want to go back to your starting position.
- After 3 sets of about 30+ seconds of holding your trunk in that certain position, you should be good to go.
- If you wanna go the extra mile you can always supplement your sets with some additional work. While holding your 45-degree angle you can put your hands behind your head and swerve from left to right.
We’ve left this one for last. If you made it this far then you can make it ’till the end as well. This is our last stop when it comes to our ab-killer workout and it’s called “the sit-up”.
Everyone knows this one. It’s fairly simple, really. However, it’s still not over so don’t even think of half-stepping this exercise since it is very important to finish your workout in the best way possible. Let’s cover the necessary steps.
- First, lay down on the floor and slightly bend your knees.
- Once you’re in position you can raise your upper body with the strength of your abs. It will be tempting to use the rest of your muscles to gain some momentum but don’t do that. You don’t want to cheat on your last exercise.
- You don’t need to raise your body that much. Just slightly above the ground will do the trick. Anything more will swerve the attention away from abs and we don’t need that.
- Make sure you inhale and exhale at the right times otherwise the movement can be a bit tricky. You want to take a deep breath straight to your belly and flex your abs before you raise your torso. Once you’ve finished the raising movement, exhale slowly, revert, and do it again.
And there you have it. With these 3 exercises, you’ll be on your way towards building one hell of a six-pack. Feel free to spice up the exercises we’ve mentioned with some additional if you’re that strong. Reaching hypertrophy is different for everyone. Some people need more tension and some need less.
Let us know in the comment section if you liked the exercises and as always thanks for reading!