One of the most prominent parts of the human body reserves high marks in the personality test. A thin and well-toned waist not only looks visually pleasing, but it also portrays the character and the health of that person.
Here are 18 abdominal exercises to burn fat and grab high grades.
1. The Bicycle Exercise
It is one of the best exercises for the diagonally arranged abdominal muscles. Steps – Lie down on the floor, face up towards the ceiling. Get your knees close to the chest and at the same time lift your head and shoulder with your hands wrapped behind it.
Now bring the left knee close to your right elbow, straightening your right leg at the same time. Reverse this action. This pedaling motion will bring quick results. Target: 20 to 30 repetitions.
2. The Captain’s Chair Leg Raise
Steps – This typically requires a captain’s chair or gym equipment with similar features. Stand on the chair, hold the grips and rest your elbows on the padded arms. Push back hard against the chair. Next, raise your knees till the hip level and contract your abs. Target: 25 to 35 repetitions.
3. Exercise Ball Crunch –
Ball exercises for the abdomen focus on the upper and lower muscles as well as the oblique. Steps – Simply sleep over the exercise ball making sure your lower back is near the edge of the ball. Now, wrap your hands around the back of your head and roll your shoulders and lift them. Lower them after a short break. Target: 1 to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
4. Vertical Leg Crunch –
Although this exercise is a little difficult it guarantees taut abs in a quick time. Steps – Lie down flat on the floor. Raise your legs up, vertical to the body. Cross the legs while maintaining the vertical position. Push your hands behind your head and raise your shoulders, contracting the abs in the process. It should make you feel as if you are pushing your abs down. Target: 1 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
5. Long Arm Crunch –
It works on your core muscles. Steps – Lie down on your back with your knees pulled back. Place both your hands behind and away from your head forming alphabet A; one palm below the other. Raise your shoulders to 45 degrees along with your hands. You will feel your abs contracting. Lower yourself slowly and repeat the action. It offers a longer span than the traditional crunches.
6. Clean and Press –
It is one of the easiest exercises and offers great results. Use dumbbells instead of barbell due to the ease factor. Keep them at the side. Lower your body (squat) and pick it up using an overhand grip. Stand up and bring the weights close to your chest, pause and do an overhead press. Reverse the action to set the weights on the floor (back to a squat position).
8. Lunge Twist –
Lunge twist not only tones abs and thigh muscle but also shapes up the butt. Steps – Stand erect with knees slightly bent and arm in a horizontal position. Push the left foot back, right knee bent, and twist the torso and left arm on the right. Quickly retreat to your normal stance, and alternate the sides in a rhythmic fashion. Target: 50 repetitions.
9. Front squats –
Front squats offer amazing results in terms of toned thigh and abdomen muscles. Unlike back squat where the barbell is rested at the back, the front squat typically uses underhand and the barbell is rested on the chest which needs to be puffed up. Rising and lowering on your feet will result in your core muscles getting toned up.
10. Donkey kickbacks –
Steps – Begin the exercise by resting your body on your hands and knees. Now pull your abdomen inside, squeezing in, as if kissing the spine. Retain the posture and lift and draw your left leg out, behind you, keeping it parallel with your body. Target: 10 to 12 repetitions for each leg. Works wonders for your abdomen muscles, thighs, and butt.
11. Advanced leg crunches –
This exercise is typically meant for experienced people; folks who know how to put into effect various body parts. Steps – Lie down on the floor with your knees pulled up, hands behind your back, palm flat on the floor and a 2 or 3 lbs weight between your feet. Now, simply contract your abs and pull back your knees slowly.
Lift your head, shoulders, and torso a couple of inches. Lower yourself and relax. Repeat. Once you get the hang of it, this exercise won’t feel so daunting.
Read More: 5 Health Benefits of Yoga
12. Oblique driving-knee crunch –
Lie down on the large exercise ball, stability ball with your back firmly supported. Hold your body in place with your left hand on the floor, fingers spread out. Now with your right hands supporting your head crunch up and pull your left knee towards your chest.
Twist your rib cage towards the left and simultaneously stretch your right leg keeping your left leg stretched back (same position). Go back the same way to your normal position. Repeat.
13. Plank Knee Drive –
Although this exercise looks easy the body stance needs to be maintained at all times. Steps – Set your body in a push-up position. Hands spread according to shoulder width. Keep the spine, shoulders, and torso in perfect alignment. Now pull in one knee towards the chest, close to the elbow, once again maintaining the alignment. Return to the original position. Target: 10 to 15 repetitions.
14. Plank –
Steps – Start off by getting into the push-up position. Lower your body on your forearms and toes. Maintain that position for as long as you can. Make sure the entire body remains parallel to the ground. It is highly recommended for core and shoulder muscles development.
15. Swan Dive –
Steps – Start off by lying on your stomach and palms resting flat on the floor at the sides (close to your chest) like a swan. Lift your shoulders and legs, four to six inches from the ground using your hands. Enhance this exercise further by extending the arms around the back to reach out for the toes. Pause for a second and go back to normal position.
16. Russian Twist –
Steps – Set your body on a mat, to half-sitting position with knees bent and legs crossed. Pick up a 2 or 3 lbs dumbbell and hold it with both the hands. Now simply twist and shift this weight sideways; from left to right and right to left.
17. Side Bridge –
Side Bridge is similar to plank. The only difference is; it is performed on one elbow and facing the floor sideways.
18. Cobra Stance –
Steps – Lie facedown on the floor with your palms near your chest. Now raise your head and chest, drawing your shoulders together forming a cobra stance. Hold till you feel the tightness in your abs. Relax and lower your body. Target: 10 repetitions.