We’ve all heard abs are made in the kitchen. But how do you really get those defined abs or that flat stomach you are wanting?
Yes, good nutrition is important when trying to drop body fat, and you have to drop body fat to show off the muscles underneath it. But what if those muscles underneath haven’t been worked? There would not be much to show. So not only do you have to get leaner to uncover the abdominal muscles, but you also have to train and build them like any other muscle. For a toned midsection, core exercises and ab-focused workouts are essential.
This doesn’t mean just doing a million crunches is going to build you the best core. Crunches only target the superficial (outer) abdominal muscles, so in wanting to develop well-rounded strength in your midsection, you need to train the entire core. Major muscle groups include the pelvic floor muscles, transverses abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and diaphragm. You will want to include core exercises that work each muscle group within your training.
Getting lean and “fit” requires you to work your entire body, and core strength is crucial for your overall fitness. Core strength also contributes to improved balance and stability and can help you be less prone to back pain. Adding in ab workouts a few times a week on top of your structured weekly workout split and healthy diet is the best recipe for success.
Also, remember that like your other muscles, abs need adequate time to recover in order to grow optimally. When planning your weekly workout schedule, be sure to get plenty of rest and recovery time between strenuous ab workouts.
Does this sound a little more complicated than you initially thought? Don’t know where to start? We have created a 20-minutes (of work) ab workout you can do at home or in the gym that will fire up your entire core. Let’s get to work!
Set a timer, then do each circuit 3 times and perform each movement for 1 minute each, with 1 minute of rest in between circuits. Complete this workout 2-3 times a week.
- with or without weights
- with or without weights
End with a 2-minute plank – drop down to your knees and rest as needed until your two minutes is up. Strive to achieve the goal of working up to holding your plank for the full two minutes!
Both of these ab workout circuits are a highly-effective way to train your entire core and are some of the best exercises you can do to sculpt your obliques.
When performing core exercises, it’s important to pay close attention to your form to help make the most of each movement. Focus on pulling your core in and up (think: pulling your belly button to your spine). Remember to breathe and keep your core engaged during the entire movement.
For best results, perform this circuit of core exercises post-workout when your body is warm. Pair it with one of our favorite at-home workouts on your favorite piece of Precor equipment to maximize your home fitness potential!
Have more questions about fitness or about building a home gym? Chat or visit your local Precor authorized dealer. Our fitness experts are happy to answer all your questions and help you find the tools you need.