Many want to attain overall fitness but others want to take it a notch higher and just focus on certain parts of their body. Females idolize Michelle Obama for her arms, Jennifer Lopez for her butt, and Jennifer Aniston for her legs. Legions of fans all want to love Jessica Biel not only for her overall sexy body but for her abs as well. That’s the reason why everyone wants to know the best ab workout routine in the planet. So you must be asking yourself, what is this fixation about finding a mind-blowing ab workout routine anyway?
Physics tells the world that everything moves at a stable pace when the center is stable. The similar concept applies to the human body. The abdominal muscles is part of the “core” that controls the movement of the person. If you have noticed, dancers move around with such grace despite the endless twirls and gravity-defying jumps. It may not be noticeable but a lot of work is done by their abs to maintain stability and balance. Aside from vanity, it is beneficial for a person to have strong abs and core muscles to do other workouts and sports more effectively. Ab crunches are the first exercise that enters someone’s mind when ab workout routine is mentioned. These are still effective but sports scientists and fitness instructors have relied on other moves that tone the abdominal muscles more efficiently.
Celebrity fitness trainers swear by the plank as one of the most effective ab and core exercises. It is very simple and does not require equipment. This is also a good addition to the ab workout routine of beginners. The best thing about it is that it can be modified according to difficulty.
The plank starting position resembles a push-up, except that the forearms and the toes are used to support the body instead of the hands. The torso has to be straight and strong to maintain the body’s long line. Take care in not letting the head sag. Hold this position for 30 seconds and work you way up to 40 seconds, 50 seconds, and so on so forth.
An easier, modified version of this would be to use the hands instead of the forearms. Gradually intensify the difficulty by trying to lift the leg or arm for a few seconds.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) studied several exercises and chose the best ones that really make an ab workout routine effective. The plank ranked number 10 and the bicycle exercise ranked number 1. According to ACE, it not only exercises the rectus abdominis. It works out the obliques or waist muscles as well.
Think of the bicycle exercise as “twist crunches.” Assume the normal crunches position by lying down on the floor and interlace your fingers behind your head. Only this time, bring your knees towards the chest. Straighten your left leg and turn your upper body to the right at the same time. The left elbow should be directed towards the knee. Switch sides. Do 1-3 sets of 20-25 repetitions.