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Best advanced cardiovascular abs specialization exercises

Who doesn’t want a flat stomach and with the fad of 6 pack abs catching on, gyms are constantly churning out sweats. Listed below are a few exercises that provide a great workout as well as give you the abs that people envy. Nevertheless, there is no shortcut to this. All of these need consistency and persistence over a period of 3 months to over 3 years, depending on the body structure of the individual. It is recommended that these exercises be done with music in the background so as to drive out the monotony of the workout.

Lying bicycle

The most effective abdomen exercises begin with the bicycle. This is clinically proved to be an effective exercise:

Method:

  1. Lie on a mat facing the ceiling and support your neck with your palms clasped behind your head.
  2. Lift shoulder blades off the floor while bringing knees closer to your chest.
  3. Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg.
  4. Alternate sides, the left elbow pedaling towards the right knee and so on.

Time to show results: 3-4 months; should be done on alternate days.

Body discomforts beginners would experience: You may need someone to help you complete the routine; sore abdomen and lower back pain may be eminent.

Time to adapt the exercise: 9 days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Captain’s chair leg raise

The captain’s chair leg raise is also an effective move for the rectus abdominis as well as the obliques.

Method:

  1. Stand up on the chair and stabilize your upper body with suitable grip of handholds.
  2. Keep your back and press against the pad, breathe in tighten abs and raise your lower body towards your chest.
  3. Don’t arch the back or swing the legs up.

Time to show results: 3-4 months; should be done on alternate days.

Time to adapt the exercise: 8 days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 20-25 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Exercise ball crunch

The exercise ball is a very effective tool to strengthen the abdomen and is one of the most effective ways that target the rectus abdominis.

Method:

1. Lie on the ball, with it under the lower back.
2. Cross your arms above the chest or place them behind your head.
3. Tighten your abs to lift your body above the ball, moving your ribcage toward your hips.

4. As you curl up, keep the ball stable.

5. Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Benefits: Strong lower back and torso; targets the obliques (the waist).

Time to adapt the exercise: 8 days.

Caveats for people with health problems: People with lower back pain, slip disc should consult a physician.

Vertical leg crunch

The vertical leg crunch is an effective move for the rectus abdominis and the obliques.

Method:

  1. Lie calmly on the floor. Extend your legs up straight. Cross your knees above you.
  2. Place your hands behind the head for support. Avoid pulling on the neck.
  3. Lift the shoulders. Tighten the abdomen , and move your chest to your feet.
  4. Keep the legs in a fixed position.
  5. Lower and repeat.

Time to show results: 3-4 months; should be done on every 3 days.

Time to adapt the exercise: 8 days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Caveats for people with health problems: People with lower back pain, slip disc should consult a physician.

Torso track

The torso track is an effective exercise but must be done in the presence of a trainer.

Method:

  1. Hold the handles of the torso track. Pull the abs in without holding your breath.
  2. Exhale and move forward as far as you comfortably can.
  3. If you collapse in the middle and feel it in your back, your are overstretching. Shorten your range of motion as needed to protect your back.
  4. Tighten the abs to pull your body back.
  5. Add tension by using more tension chords.

Benefits: Strong lower back and torso; targets the rectus abdominis (i.e., the ‘six pack’) and the obliques (the waist).

Time to adapt the exercise: 5 days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Caveats for people with health problems: Must be done in presence of a trainer.

Long arm crunch

The long arm crunch is changing the traditional floor crunch by making the arms straight behind you.

Method:

  1. Lie on a mat. Extend the arms straight out behind the head with hands clasped. Keep the arms next to the ears.
  2. Tighten the abs. Lift the shoulder blades above the floor.
  3. Keep the arms straight. Avoid straining the neck. If you feel neck pain, take one hand behind the head while keeping the other arm extend.
  4. You can intensify by holding a light dumbbell if more of a challenge is needed.

Benefits: Strong lower back and torso; targets the rectus abdominis (i.e., the ‘six pack’) and the obliques (the waist).

Time to show results: 3- 4 months; should be done on alternate days.

Time to adapt to exercise: 5 days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Crunch with heel push

The heel push crunch looks like a conventional crunch, but in this variant you push your heels into the floor, which involves the rectus abdominis muscles more than normal crunches.

Method:

  1. Lie on your back. Keep knees bent and hands gently supporting the head.
  2. Tighten your feet. Keep them tightened as you firm the abdomen. Lift the shoulder over the floor.
  3. Do not pull on the neck with your hands, but lightly support and balance your head.
  4. At the top of the crunch, press your heels into the floor while pressing your back against the mat and slightly raising the glutes off the floor.
  5. Lower and repeat.

Benefits: Strong lower back and torso; targets the rectus abdominis (i.e., the ‘six pack’) and the obliques (the waist).

Time to show results: 3-4 months; should be done on alternate days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Caveats for people with health problems: People with lower back pain, migraines, slip disc should consult a physician.

Plank on elbows and toes

The plank exercise builds endurance in both abs and back, as well as the stabilizer muscles.

Method:

  1. Lie with your face down on mat. Rest on the upper arms and elbows. Palms should be flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor. Raise up onto toes and rest on the elbows.
  3. Keeping your back flat and in a straight line from head to heels is the trick.
  4. Tilt your pelvis and tighten your abdominals. This will prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
  5. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, .

Time to Adapt to exercise: 12 days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 3-5 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Caveats for people with health problems: People with lower back pain, hypertension, slip disc should consult physician.

Reverse crunch

The reverse crunch is also an effective ab exercises, with a focus on the rectus abdominis.

Method:

  1. Lie on the floor. Place hands on the floor/behind your head.
  2. Bring the knees in towards the chest until bent to 90 degrees. Keep feet together/crossed.
  3. Tighten the abs to curl the hips off the floor. Reach the legs up towards ceiling.
  4. Lower and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
  5. It’s a small movement, so use your abs to lift your hips. Don’t swing your legs creating momentum.

Time to show results: 3- 4 months; should be done on alternate days.

Number of repetitions: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Side effects: Sore abdomen in the initial days, may have problems sitting erect.

Caveats for people with health problems: People with lower back pain, slip disc should consult a physician.

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