It is quite appealing to have a well toned or chiseled body, but besides the aesthetic value of having great abs, it is also in your best interest to exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sure, you may try holding your breath for an extended period of time or you can stack up on girdles and corsets, but there is only so much inhaling you can do and there are more practical ways of achieving rock hard abs.
Get Those Flat Abs Back!
It is best to do specific exercises that will target your abdominal muscles so that you will get the type of body you have always dreamed about. The following are tried and proven exercises that will work if you are consistent enough to establish a routine and stick to it. A combination of diet and exercise will effectively tone your midsection, and when done in the following order, the results tend to be greater:
2: Be sure to do your cardio exercises as a warm-up to get your body ready for a full workout since this will increase your heart rate and get your blood circulating. You should spend 20 or more minutes on this routine and this should be once every day for 5 days (you may do more if you are able to).
3: Focus on muscle building since this will strengthen your body. You should do this 15 minutes a day, at least 3 days a week.
4: Work those abs; you must prepare your body well for this and the previous three routines are a great build up. It is advisable that you devote at least five minutes, three times per week, on this type of workout.
Kneel Twist Combo
Kneel down on the floor, keeping your body upright. Then place both palms at the back of your head. Turn your upper body to the right and lean back, using your right hand to touch your heel as you stay grounded. Then try this on your left side use your left hand to touch your left heel. Do repetitions of 12 times.
Lie flat on your torso, then lift yourself up using your forearms as a means of support, lying in a plank position. Straighten your back and focus on tightening your abdominal muscles. Now push your body up using your palms for support. Begin again from the top and do this five times.
Here's an exercise that is both effective and fun. Be sure to get a stability ball, then lie down with your face looking up. Straighten your legs and place your arms above your head. Hold the ball with both hands and lift it over your head while lifting your legs so that they make contact with the ball, and in one move, cradle the ball between your ankles. Use your legs to lower the ball as you lift your arms back above your head. Do this for a repetition of 12 times and keep your lower body and lower back firmly on the floor.
Take Up Boxing
It may come as a surprise to you but boxing can be extremely helpful in toning those abdominal muscles. Throwing punches will cause you to turn your body from side to side and this will give your abs a full workout without having to do the crunches. It will be more effective if you increase the intensity and box at a much faster pace over time. Do this for more than 15 minutes, at least 3 times per week, and see and feel the difference in your abs. Add two dumbbells to your workout - no more than two pounds for beginners - and you will be on your way to having a well-chiseled midsection. However, if you do not want to use weights, you must increase the speed considerably in order to get the same results.
Increase The Crunch
Lie flat on your back, bend your knees and use both hands to hold the back of your head. Now lift up your lower body until there is a tautness in your abdominal muscles. Start out slowly and then gradually increase the pace. Studies show that increasing the speed and intensity of your crunches is more effective than simply following an exercise regime or doing countless repetitive exercises.