By John Alvino
When most people attempt to perform ab workouts at home, they usually just lie on the floor and engage in a marathon of crunch repetitions. This all too common approach will never lead to a well-balanced set of six pack abs.
First of all, the basic crunch will only provide a marginally positive training effect for beginners. Once you get strong enough to crank out sets of 50-100 or more, the resistance the crunch provides is simply too little to provide a training effect.
And secondly, the crunch only works the abs in one movement pattern: trunk flexion. Trunk flexion is just one of the many different abdominal functions that must be developed in a good ab routine. Therefore, you can’t achieve a complete ab workout by using a single exercise, like the crunch, in isolation.
Instead, you need to perform several different ab exercises, each targeting a different abdominal function and/or region. This may sound confusing, but once you understand the anatomy and function of your abdominals, designing an effective ab workout is quite simple.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with a lesson in anatomy. Instead, I’m going to lay out a complete, ready to use ab workout for you. The following workout contains only exercises that require no equipment whatsoever, making them ideal for a home training session. Here it is:
1a) Reverse Crunch On Floor 3×20-25 30 sec rest
1b) Straight Body Side Crunch On Floor 3×12 (5sec hold) 30 sec rest
2a) Plank 3×60 sec 30 sec rest
2b) Seated Russian Twists With Leg Cycle 3×20-25 30 sec rest
Now I will give you a detailed description on how to properly execute each exercise:
Reverse Crunch On Floor- Lie on your back on a mat. Flex both knees and hips to 90 degree angles. Bring knees toward chest by flexing abdominal muscles, raising butt from floor while maintaining a constant knee angle. Return until hips and knees are again extended to 90 degree angles. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps.
Straight Body Side Crunch On Floor- Lie on your side on the floor. Keep your hands straight out above your head, in line with your body. Keep legs straight. Lock your hands together. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs up so that neither are in contact with the floor. Hold this position for the prescribed number of seconds.
Plank- Get on the floor in a push up position. Support your body on your forearms and your toes. Be sure to keep the abs tight and hold your body in a straight line. Do not let hips sag or hike them up too high. Hold for the prescribed number of seconds.
Seated Russian Twists With Leg Cycle- Sit on floor and cross your arms across your chest, grabbing the opposite shoulders. Lean back until your upper body makes a 45 degree angle to the floor. Rotate trunk to the right while simultaneously bringing your right knee towards your chest. At this point your left elbow will be touching your right knee. In a smooth motion rotate to the left and repeat this on the other side. Continue to alternate until you finish the prescribed number of reps. One full rotation equals one rep.
And there you have it! A simple ab workout you can perform anywhere with no equipment necessary. Do this workout 2-3 times per week for up to a month. After a month, it will be time to progress to a more advanced routine.
A nice set of abs is in YOUR future! Begin this routine and start getting results today!