The most desired look is the slender, toned, flat stomach. For me, it’s not just about that! Yes, it may look appealing for some and it makes some people feel good in themselves which is always great, however just because you don’t have defined abs, it doesn’t mean your figure isn’t great too. Training your abs isn’t just about getting that definition (though it can be a bonus when you achieve it!), it’s useful in stabilising your core and keeping your posture up right.
I have no time to go to the gym!
Now, this is one of the most common lines every personal trainer will hear… One of the great things about ab exercises is that they are the most time efficient, quick and easiest types of exercises to do. When I say the easiest, I don’t mean that you will fly through them and be able to complete 40 reps of every single exercise with no problems… I mean it in a sense that you can do them anywhere, anytime. You don’t need a gym and you can do most exercises with little to no equipment whatsoever.
What ab exercises will give me the best and quickest results?
Ab exercises are like any other exercise… the more you do it, the faster the results will come. You can’t expect to see the same results as someone doing the exercises on a daily basis for 30mins if you are completing them twice weekly for 15 mins. There are plenty of ab exercises out there but our favourite ones are:
- Medicine ball sit ups: These are similar to your ordinary sit up’s with the added weight of the medicine ball. Simply lay on your back with your knee’s bent and feet flat on the floor. Start by holding the medicine ball above your head ensuring, your arms are straight. As you would in a sit up, tense your abs and lift yourself up whilst keeping hold of the medicine ball- as you sit up, bring the medicine ball towards your knees. Once in the sit up position, stretch your arms out over your head holding the ball. Slowly lower the ball, and lower yourself back onto your back into your original position. Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.
- Plank: This is the exercise I love to hate. They are simple, yet very hard and very effective. All you need to do is, whilst lying on your front, place your forearms flat against the floor at about shoulder width apart. You then want to push up using your arms and hold yourself in a ‘plank’ position by squeezing your ab muscles. Always ensure your back is as straight as possible. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Russian Twists: This can be done in 2 different ways. The simpler way is whilst in sitting, have legs flat on the floor in front of you. Using a medicine ball, slowly twist from side to side, reaching as far as possible behind you. To make this harder, try raising your legs from the ground- you can cross your legs to make this a bit easier. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps (1 rep = 1X twist to left + 1X twist to right).
- Exercise ball pull ins: These are very effective but can be quite tough. You can complete these by placing your feet on an exercise ball and your hands on the floor as though you are in a push-up position. Slowly bend your knees, pulling the exercise ball towards you. Hold for a few seconds then slowly extend your legs and push the ball back away from you. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Leg raises: This is one of my personal favourites. It is very simple to complete but very effective. Lying flat on your back with your legs straight, slowly raise your legs until they are straight in the air. You then need to slowly lower them back down towards the floor and then repeat. If you want to make this a little harder, when you lower your legs back towards the floor, do not let them touch the floor, bring them straight back up again! Try and keep your abs engaged at all times and your legs as straight as possible throughout. You can also place your hands underneath your buttocks to stop you from sliding down the floor. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
So there you have it, our top 5 ab exercises! You can gradually increase your reps and/or set’s as you start to find the exercises easier. There is an array of extra ab exercises that our Fierce Fit personal trainers would love to show you! So if you want to make a change and get that core strong, book in now – your first personal training consultation or group class is free!