If you had to pick one part of your body that you would change, what would it be? For many of us the answer is our stomachs. We all want to have ripped abs to complement our Greek god-like physique, but oftentimes the workouts we do are ineffective and merely slow the growth of our belly fat at best. Sound familiar.
The truth is that many people are strongly motivated to lose weight, bulk up, and have a physically fit body, but the reason why they don’t is because the exercises that they are doing are not good enough. Luckily, there are abdominal exercises which are proven to be extremely effective in developing core muscle strength, and most of them do not require any sort of equipment at all.
1) Hanging Leg-Raises: A strenuous exercise, the hanging leg raise is a product of true gymnasts. All you need is a chin-up bar or equivalent setup. Grab the bar with an overhand grip about shoulder width apart, and while bending your knees raise your hips and curl your back as you bring your thighs to your chest. Lower slowly, and repeat.
2) Fat-Bar Holds: Again with a chin-up bar or equivalent, hold onto the bar with an overhand grip and hang with your arms and body completely straight. Hang for as long as possible until you can’t hold on any longer, then rest for a minute and repeat. Remember you want to improve your strength, so aim to hang for a longer amount of time during each rep.
3) Overhead Reverse Lunge: All you need for this exercise is a light barbell or long wooden pole or equivalent. Hold the bar high above your head with arms straight, and step backward with one leg and slowly lower your body until your knee is bent at a right angle. Do multiple sets of 15-20 reps with rests in between.
4) Leg Raises: While lying on your back extend your legs and raise them off the floor to the highest degree while keeps your knees only slightly bent. Slowly bring your legs back down towards the ground, at about 6 inches from the ground, curl your legs towards your chest. Repeat 15-20 times.
5) Planks: While in push-up position, bring your arms in close to your chest, elbows tucked in and fists up near your face. Raise your body up off the ground and maintain a straight “plank-like” posture for 60 seconds. Only your toes and forearms should be touching the ground. After each rep, switch positions. Flip over and have your back towards the ground and chest pointing skyward, again only your feet and forearms should be touching. Keep your back straight and hold position for 60 seconds.
These 5 simple exercises can be done in your house or outside which makes them convenient. Also, remember that these abdominal exercises must be executed with proper form. Don’t push yourself to do more reps or an extra set of an exercise if you feel like your are unable to do it properly; you’ll just end up hurting your body more than helping it.