Copyright (c) 2014 Bogdan Irimia
Training abs has been a much debated subject among bodybuilders and sport lovers alike. Many of them are not big fans of training this body part specifically, so they with rather go for compound movements that attack the abs indirectly, while others support the idea of isolation for definition, just like in the case of any other muscle group.
Where's the truth? Well, it's somewhere in the middle. While compound movements such as squats, overhead lifts, push-ups will have as consequence a stronger core, if you really want that perfect six-pack definition you will have to train abs separately at least 3 times a week. All you have to do is to choose 3 or 4 exercises and do 3 sets of each with 10/12 reps per set. The idea is to keep changing them up because this muscle group will get easily adjusted to whatever you put it through.
No matter how many ab training articles and advice you read, don't forget that even though you train your abs constantly, a big part of their definition is having a low body fat percentage (for men it should be under 10%). Now, to get to this number your nutrition has to be on the spot and your cardio routine should be very well planned. Sometimes, the best ab exercise is 40 minutes on the treadmill or hill climbing which might benefit you more than any other traditional exercise you may think of.
Just to get you ready for that perfect 6-pack abs this summer, here are some of the best exercises that target your whole core:
Ball Weighted Crunches: The exercise ball is a great and very necessary equipment when you want to train your abs. It protects your back, allows a longer range of motion while crunching and even better, it help you improve your whole body stability. Pick a weight that allows you to do 10 repetitions and slowly lower your back on the ball. Be careful to anchor your feet firmly on the floor so you don't fall and injure yourself.
Hanging Leg Raises: Another great abs exercise that really puts your core strength through a test. You will need a bar placed high enough so you don't touch the ground as you lower and bring both legs up. Remember to breathe through this exercise because otherwise, you'll be grasping for air and not concentrating on the movement.
Twist crunches: Instead of doing regular crunches on the floor try twisting your torso alternating left and right as you come up. This will train your obliques and finish off your abs workout. Be careful to not tug on your neck while you do the crunches because this might lead to back injury.
This is just a general guideline of how you abs workout should look like. Don't be afraid to mix and match them constantly, to figure out which ones work best for you and what moves you enjoy doing the most. Keep your core guessing and don't let it get too comfortable because you'll stop seeing results. Have fun while you're at it!
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I am the co-owner of MachoMen.ro website, a site that promotes fitness in men of all ages. We write valuable articles about bodybuilding, cycling, swimming, jogging, dieting, sex, supplements and many more. My favorite articles are about abs exercises (exercitii pentru abdomen).
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