The rectus abdominus a.k.a the “sixpacks’ is always the goal for most people who decide to work out. Many a times as a fitness instructor, one of the first few questions I get is,” how long will I have to train in order to get a six pack” & “Will I get a sixpack if I train in this way”.
In all fairness, all of us actually have abs muscles. Just that for some, it is currently being covered by the layers of stubborn fats. So in order to get the sixpacks, all we have to do is to work out effectively on a consistent basis to burn off the calories & the excess body fat so as to show what we all were born with, THE SIXPACK. That is why I always tell everyone who ask me the sixpack question this:” Do not worry about the abs or sixpack, just focus and worry about clocking in your workouts because as long as you keep to your schedule of working out, it will just be a matter of time that you will see your sixpack.
That being said, it is also important to do some workouts for the rectus abdominus because like all other muscle groups such as chest and shoulders, you have to constantly work on that muscle group in order to have a set of nicely toned sixpack. So the following are some of my favourite exercises for the rectus abdominus, broken down into beginners, intermediate and lastly advanced. Starting with the beginners and progressively work your way towards the advanced sets of workouts.
*QUICK TIP*: FOR ALL THE CORE EXERCISES, IT IS IMPORTANT TO EXHALE OUT STRONGLY AT THE POINT OF ABS MUSCLE CONTRACTION TO FEEL THE FULL EFFECTS OF YOUR CORE TIGHTENING
EXERCISE 1: LEG RAISES
STEP 1: Lie flat on the floor with your shoulder blades pinned on the floor and your hands placed by the side.
STEP 2: Raise your legs up and bend your legs to a 90 deg. as you bring your legs close to your body.
STEP 3: Eventually bring your legs back down to the starting position.
*ALTERNATIVE*: KEEP YOUR LEGS STRAIGHT (EVEN DURING THE STAGE OF RAISING YOUR LEGS) THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EXERCISE.
*TIP*: Inhale at the start of the exercise and exhale out as you raise your legs and bring it closer to you.
EXERCISE 2: HALF CRUNCHES
STEP 1: Lie on the floor with your legs slightly bent at a 45 deg. angle inwards and your arms crossed.
STEP 2: Bring yourself up midway (as shown in the picture) while keeping your hips pinned down onto the floor throughout the whole exercise.
*ALTERNATIVE*: INSTEAD OF CROSSING YOUR ARMS, YOU MAY PLACE YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR EARS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EXERCISE.
*TIP*: Inhale at the start of the exercise and exhale out as you bring yourself up midway
EXERCISE 3: PLANK WITH ABS ROLLER
STEP 1: Get into a plank position with the abs roller as shown (shoulders in line with your wrist).
STEP 2: Hold in that plank position for 30 seconds
*ALTERNATIVE*: YOU MAY HOLD IN THAT PLANK POSITION FOR LONGER THAN 30 SECONDS. CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO OUTLAST YOUR PREVIOUS DURATION OF PLANK HOLD.
*TIP*: Do not sink down your hip.
So have a shot at the above beginners abs workout. Always remember to exhale to feel the maximum contraction of your core. Have fun with it and do stay tuned for the intermediate and advanced sets of core workout in our upcoming entries.