Achieving sculpted abdominal muscles is often the toughest and most brutal part of a workout. We’ve long been told that crunches are the way to go, but many of us have suffered through thousands in our lifetime, and still haven’t seen the fit, washboard abs we want. Forget the boring, basic crunch and try some of these ab-carving, burn-inducing exercises to tighten and tone the key muscles in your core.
Burpees not only offer a cardio benefit, but the movement helps to strengthen the entire core, as well as the triceps, shoulders, upper back, and legs.
Start with 10-20 reps and three sets.
• Start in a crouching position
• Jump your feet back so that you are in a plank position, then quickly return feet to crouching position
• Raise arms above head and jump in the air, then return to a crouching position for one set
• Add in a push-up while in the plank position for an extra burn in your arms and chest!
Check out this how-to video for more tips.
Standing Oblique Crunch
Designed to target the obliques, the transverse abdominus, and the rectus abdominus, this move is a performance powerhouse. It also helps with stabilization and balance, since this is a standing exercise.
• Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart
• Lift your right arm all the way straight up in the air
• Slowly bend your right leg as you bend your left arm and crunch together. Keep your knee pointed outward and aimed to touch your elbow to your knee
Do 10-20 reps on each side. For a more intense burn, keep the knee up the entire time and simply crunch with your arm.
A Pilates move that’s sure to induce some intense burning in the lower abdominals, the hundred is a great workout for getting deep core muscles engaged.
• Lay on a mat with your arms at your sides, palms up
• Lift your legs to a 45-degree angle, keeping your abdominals engaged and your spine pressed into the floor
• Slowly lift your head and shoulders slightly off the mat
• Reach with your fingertips while pumping your arms 6 inches up and down
• Exhale for five counts as you pump, inhale for five counts
• Repeat 100 times (or ten full breaths)
Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
A move borrowed from Yoga, the opposite arm, and leg raise engages all areas of the core, including the deep belly abs and the flanks.
• Start on all fours
• Raise your left leg to hip height and your right arm to shoulder height
• Reach forward with your fingers and back with your heels as you hold for two counts
• Repeat 15-20 times
Plank and Side Plank
Stabilization is essential to achieving core strength. The plank and the side plank target all of the abdominal muscles, initiating contraction to challenge your body. The necessary movement involves getting into a position similar to a push-up and holding it, but it can be made even more difficult by adding arm, leg or hip movement.
With the side plank, you’ll balance on one forearm and shoulder with your feet stacked to keep your body in line. The position sounds simple, but your flanks will be burning within seconds!
Try holding a traditional plank and then side planks on each side for 15-30 seconds at a time, repeating three times for a robust and dependable benefit to your muscles.
Pair these abdominal workouts with a sensible, nutrient-dense diet plan and moderate cardio to start seeing the flatter, firmer abs. Need a faster and non-surgical way to get those abs you dream about? Visit us at Slim Studio Atlanta for a free consultation on CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT and see which treatment plan is right for you! While some patients are best suited for CoolSculpting only, others are best suited for EMSCULPT only, and many find that a combination of both treatments helps them achieve their body contouring goals! Our dedicated & professional staff is here to guide you through your body sculpting journey!