Love handles are attractive to some, but others prefer a firmer look for the abs. Having the famous six pack is not that easy.
So here’s a plan for visible abs!
The essential plank exercise
An indispensable part of weight training and fitness programs, planks are an exercise you should never underestimate. In most sports (team or individual), coaches use this exercise to strengthen athletes’ abdominal muscles.
All the abdominal muscles are activated by the plank (and, in particular, the transverse abdominals). This exercise also involves much of the upper body, including the back and the arms.
Attention, this exercise is only effective when done properly. Here are some tips:
- Start facing down.
- Position yourself on your feet and elbows.
- Elbows should be under the shoulders; hands should be flat.
- Tilt the pelvis. This means that the back should not be hollowed, but instead seek to draw the navel towards its spine.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds to one minute. Rest for 45 seconds before repeating. Do this exercise three times.
Note: Also remember to contract the perineum for the duration.
There are several ways for you to progress. You can experiment with the duration by trying to hold the position for as long as possible. Or decreasing your rest time. Or trying several existing alternatives (mountain climbers, side planks, etc.). Check out all the plank variations on Fitness Coach app).
Scissors for six-pack abs
Scissors are often equated to quad work, but this exercise recruits mainly the abdominal muscles (and in particular, the rectus abdominis, which gives the famous appearance of a six pack).
How to do this special six-pack exercise
- Start from by laying on your back, on the ground. The legs are outstretched and closed, the arms are along the body.
- Raise your head and feet a few inches while keeping your gaze on your feet, thereby tucking in your chin.
- Contract your abdominal muscles to maintain the position. The lower back should stay on the floor (if there is a gap between the lower back and the floor, place your hands under your buttocks to help you maintain the correct position).
- The exercise consists of raising the outstretched legs one after the other for a few centimeters (or 30 to 45°, for example).
- Perform the exercise for 20 reps, then rest for 30 seconds before the next set. Do 3 to 4 sets.
Notes: If possible, extend the toes.
Many variations of scissors can be had by changing the height of the legs, the lift angles and experimenting with faster and slower rhythms.
Russian twists for the obliques
This abdominal exercise involves the obliques (the muscles on the side of the stomach) when twisting. It also works to improve stability through the imbalance that’s created in holding the position.
Tips for performing the Russian Twist abdominal exercise:
- Start on the ground, seated. Bend the legs. Only the feet should remain on the ground (for the moment).
- Throughout the exercise, make sure to keep your back straight.
- Tilt your torso slightly backwards, hands at chest level. Take your feet off the ground and find your balance.
- Turn the chest and head to the right while exhaling. Touch the ground with the hands on the right, then return to the center while inhaling before turning to the other side while exhaling. Touch the ground with the hands on the left.
- Repeat this sequence 20 times, then rest for 30 seconds before doing your next set of Russian twists. Do three to four sets.
Additional tips for the abdominal muscles
- End your abdominal sessions with a yoga posture called “Cobra pose”. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. This will relax the muscle fibers worked and will lengthen the rectus abdominis and their horizontal tendinous grooves which, in other words, will accentuate the contours of your abdominal muscles.
- Eat an easily digestible diet and keep yourself well hydrated to avoid bloating.
- Do the Stomach Vacuum exercise on a regular basis to maximize results.
- Download the Fitness Coach application to get results quickly through the targeted training of the coaches.