When you think of the perfect physique, having a six-pack is usually the first thing you’d consider as essential to looking like you’ve been sculpted by the gods.
Although most compound movements will work your core muscles anyway, there are plenty of abdominal isolation exercises you could be doing to really focus on increasing your muscle tissue, improving your core strength, and building your abs so they start to appear through. It’s a wonderful sense of achievement when they do start to show. Here’s some of the best exercises you could be doing to achieve your abdominal goals!
For working on your obliques
When lying on your back, bring your left knee up to your torso and simultaneously take your right elbow down to your left knee. Then alternate as though you’re riding a bike. This will help you build a balanced core and burn that belly fat away!
Seated Russian Twist
Sit on the floor and bend your knees with your heels on the ground. Hold our hands out directly in front of you together. With your back at a 45° angle, twist your torso from side to side in a controlled motion. This exercise will help females get a smaller waist, and males get a tapered v-line torso.
For working on your upper abs
Lie on your back and hold a dumbbell across your chest using both of your hands. While keeping the weight stable, raise your torso then lower it back down, ensuring that you really use, tighten and squeeze your upper abs. This one’s great for gaining muscle growth if you push yourself to absolute failure.
Lie on the floor with your legs slightly raised off the floor and extended out away from you. Keep your arms straight and off the floor by your side too. While keeping your arms straight, raise your torso and bring your legs in so that your knees meet your chest. Then lower them back down with control. If you’re feeling extra brave, bring your legs higher to a 45° angle.
For working on your lower abs
Hanging leg raise
Start by gripping the bar and hanging with your legs straight and your knees touching. While keeping them together, use your lower abs to raise your legs and then lower them back down. Do this with absolute control. This exercise is tough! Not only will it work your entire core, but your chest, shoulders, and forearms will get some attention too.
Begin by hanging from the bar with your knees already raised to your waist. Then lift them even higher to as far up to your chest as you can. Keep your core in control and engaged throughout. This one’s also for the experienced gym-goers, so don’t be put off at first. Keep trying.
Although we have mentioned that lifting weights with compound movements can play a significant part in building your core strength, body-weight moves are also proven to play an even bigger role in strengthening your abs – so ditch the deadlifts for the pushups and planks!
How often should you be working on your core? Well, research shows that two or three abdominal workouts should do just fine. It was once often thought that endurance was the key to a six-pack, but you need to be giving your abs a rest to optimize performance and maximize results.