Ab Exercises That Totally Work
By Genevieve Cunningham
How many people are truly confident walking around in a swimsuit? Though there are certainly plenty of people who feel strong and proud, there are many others who wish they could change something about their body -- and many times, it's the abs. Abs are a sign of fitness for many, but they're certainly not easy to attain. If you want to build strength in our core and get closer to total body confidence, take a look at these ab exercises that can totally help you reach your ultimate goal.
Crunches sometimes get a bad rap, but they can work if you do them correctly. The key is to keep your head back so that your abs are long and straight. If you push your head too far forward, you'll shorten the ab muscles and strain the neck all at the same time. Focus on good form (YouTube video!), and you'll be able to get some good from this exercise.
The plank is such a good ab exercise. It forces you to tense and hold every muscle in the core. It can be done on your front (forearms or hands), side, or even on your back. If you need an example of good form, ask a personal trainer or do a search on the internet. The most important things to keep in mind are to keep your back flat (no swaying or bending at the waist) and actively engage the muscles.
Leg lifts are hard! You'll lie on your back, support your lower back with your hands, and keep your legs straight. Keeping your lower back as flat on the ground as possible, lift your legs slowly towards the sky. Then lower them back down slowly. Again, watch a video for proper form so that you can work the abs without hurting your back.
If you have access to a high bar, you can really work your abs. You'll hang from the bar and do various forms of lifting your legs. You may keep them straight and lift as high as you can, or you may pull your knees toward your chest. This will take practice, but these exercises can absolutely strengthen and challenge the core.
Running isn't an ab specific workout -- it's a whole body workout. But it works! When you run, you have to engage the core to keep you moving forward. The higher you lift your knees, the more your abs are worked. Running also helps to lower overall body fat percentage so that your abs will show as they get stronger.
If you're willing to put in the work, lower your body fat percentage, and target the abdominal muscles, you can really build a strong core. Use these exercises to help you get closer to your goal. Strong abs lead to a strong body, and a strong body is necessary for good health. Get started today, and watch your muscles grow like never before.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Asheville, N.C.