Developing ripped abdominals is difficult for most people. There are hundreds of products on the market that promise flat, fit abs in minutes. These programs are expensive, require equipment, or simply don’t work. Luckily, there are many bodyweight exercises that can help you quickly, safely, and privately get the toned abs you’ve always wanted. These exercises are quick, safe, and easy to learn. You can do them a few times a week for fewer than 20 minutes and see great results.
The traditional abdominal exercise, the crunch or sit up, is a waste of time. Your abdominal muscles are strong and burning them out doing crunches does little to improve their appearance. In fact, crunches are consistently rated one of the least effective ways to build core (abdominal strength). Instead, I’ve made a list of simple exercises that will get your started on your ab-building journey. They are simple and safe. If, while performing any of these exercises, you feel discomfort, stop immediately. There should never be any discomfort when you work out.
Leg Lifts: Lay on the floor looking at the ceiling with your arms by your side. Place your hands underneath the small of your back. Make sure you feel comfortable. Keep your legs locked out in front of you and slowly raise them 6 - 8 inches off the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds and lower your legs down. Repeat three to four times.
Leg Raises: Lying on the floor with your hands underneath the small of your back, again raise your legs. This time, however, do not stop and raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor. Do not let your knees bend or let your upper back come away from the floor. Lower them down slowly. Start with 3 sets of 5.
Vee Ups: Vee Ups are a difficult exercise and require practice and patience. You again begin by laying on the ground. This time, however, extend your hands above your head. Your goal is to use your abdominals to pull your legs and your upper body off the floor, leaving only your lower back touching the ground. At first, this will be difficult, so your goal should be to simply master the technique. Think about flattening your lower back against the ground and contracting your abdominals as hard as you can. Once you can accomplish this, experiment with Vee Up holds (10 seconds) or doing Vee Ups in sets of 3. This exercise is extremely effective at building abdominal (core) strength.
Planks: Even if you are unable to do a pushup, you should work hard on the plank. It is a great exercise for building physical (abdominal) mental strength. To perform a plank, get into a pushup position. For those of you who perform modified pushups, please get into a regular pushup position with only your arms and knees touching the ground. Make sure your body is aligned — keep your butt, shoulders and ankles in a solid line. Now, simply hold that position as long as you can. At first, it will be difficult so try holding for 5 seconds. Slowly build up the time you can hold this position. 30 seconds — 1 minute per round is excellent. Repeat three or four times.
These exercises will get you started on your way to a flatter, fitter stomach. Remember to allow adequate rest between sets and between exercises. There is no point rushing through each exercise and leaving your body exhausted.
While these four exercises should be used as part of a complete workout routine, they are specifically designed to maximize your time.
A routine composed of a few sets of each of these exercises should take no more than 15 minutes and can be done 3 times per week. You can do all of these exercises in the comfort of your home and, best of all, there is no expensive equipment to buy.
Lastly, utilizing nutritional supplements, such as nitric oxide and l-arginine can help your body rapidly develop and build muscle in targeted areas. Nitric oxide can help you improve your stamina and strength, in addition to widening the blood vessels allowing for more oxygen to reach your muscles allowing faster muscle growth. Any good workout routine can be aided with the help of a nitric oxide supplement.
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