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Top 5 exercises for Ab definition

A lot of people ask what are the best exercises for a defined set of abs? Unfortunately it is a little more complicated than just giving an exercise that will miraculously give you that flat stomach you’ve always dreamt of. Below are exercises that will help and there reasons why but really a flat stomach is primarily down to a nutrient rich, balanced diet with low fat intake. Also the fat that is consumed is that of the healthy variety. Combine this with a regular gym programme of resistance and cardiovascular is the way to get defined abs.

Vast majority of gym users work 7% of their abdomen causing poor posture, muscle imbalances and back pain. That vast majority also do crunch upon crunch thinking this will reveal the abdominal muscles thus creating the above problems. A 12 stone man would only burn 1 calorie with a regular set of 10 sit ups. Using only a limited range of movement you won’t burn enough to reveal a six pack

There are some exercises though that are of benefit, so the top 5 in no specific order are:

  1. The Squat – The squat you may think has no chance of getting a flat stomach, but you couldn’t be further from the truth, The stabilisation of the action fires up the core muscles, it also works a lot of muscle. This in turn burns more due to more muscle mass being used. So in the long run that is why this is a great core exercise due to its burning abilities. You must ensure you keep the weight on your heels, chest up and shoulders back. If you are unsure get someone to assess your squat as muscle imbalances can make the squat ineffective.
  2. Asymmetric Cable Chest Push – This is an advanced exercise, the key is to activate your core stability properly and keep upright to get maximum benefit. Taking a split stance opposite leg to the arm performing the push. Just like a normal chest press position, just use the one arm and keep the elbow up. Keeping upright throughout don’t cheat by leaning forward the leverage created on the mid point. This mid point being the core making you feel the stabilisation. As above you can get a lot of muscle mass moving if it is progressed, adding torso twist to the push, you can even add a form of lunge for the lower body.
  3. Cable Wood chop – One set of 10 reps burns 24 calories on average, it is a great all rounder again a lot of muscle worked with the action originating from the core, oblique muscles. If you get a good side lunge going again even more beneficial. It is vital that it is performed with correct weight. Too many people load up the weight resulting in a poor rotation and fatigue resulting in the wrong places, it can also make you lean forward way to far to try and pull the weight down, when really it is performed from the twist, mainly. This can easily be performed with dumbbells or medicine balls.
  4. Reverse Curl – This exercise is a great postural exercise, as long as you get the angle right you will feel it, don’t be fooled though it does not mean you are targeting the extra layer of fat over your lower abdominals, the key is you are tightening them, this in turn gives you the correct tilt on the pelvis if it was incorrect (think daffy duck syndrome, bum sticking out), which can make the little paunch look flatter if you have relatively low body fat on the stomach. To do the exercise effectively hold onto a pole/post or bench above the head, cross your feet over and raise your legs up, if looking from the side try and imagine the angle that your legs go up is about 45 – 80 degrees, if you are in that area you should feel this exercise in the lower abs, you are using your hip flexors as well though don’t forget.
  5. Stability Ball Ab Curl – Finally if you are simply looking for an exercise to work your abdominals, this is one of the best you can do. It is important here to remember two things, don’t use your legs and engage your core. Common mistakes are rolling the ball using the legs so there is less curl so it is less effective. The other problem is people not engaging the core muscles properly so there is a ballooning effect as they come up. Take it slow draw in properly and you will feel it.

If you like what you have read and want to know more leave us comments and we will expand the article to cover a real explanation of how to engage the core and the best resistance workout for your core that will be the best for burning those unwanted calories.