Everyone wants washboard abs, but here’s something they don’t tell you: everyone can get them. You just have to be prepared to eat well and perform these abdominal exercises religiously:
Mountain climbers kill two birds with one stone. They work your abs (hard) while simultaneously giving an intense cardio workout. To get started, place both hands on the ground in a plank position. Next, move your right knee to your nose and place is back on the floor, followed by your left. When in the curled position, your back should only slightly arch. Try to keep it as flat and plank-like as possible, as this will increase your ab strength at a faster rate. Move your knees to your nose, alternating between right and left legs, as quickly as you possibly can. Start out maintaining this pace for one minute, before pausing. Repeat three to five times.
Stop rolling your eyes every time your Pilates instructor calls push up time. Push ups are an exercise in total body toning. They’re perfect, as far as abdominal exercises go, because they work both deep and superficial muscles. Plus, what’s cooler than a woman who can win a pushup contest? To perform push ups properly, keep your body completely flat, like a tabletop, the entire time. Position your hands directly under your shoulders, with your fingers facing forward and do 10 push ups, dropping your nose as close to the ground as possible. Then, keeping your hands beneath your shoulders, angle them inward, so that your fingers are pointing at one another. Perform 10 push ups like this before angling your hands forward again. Repeat this alternation until you physically cannot push up anymore.
Flutter kicks work your lower abs, where even incredibly fit women tend to carry a little excess fat. Lie down and glue your back completely to the floor. Keeping your legs straight, hover them about six inches above the ground. If you feel your back starting to arch off of the floor, place your hands, with your pointers and thumbs touching in a diamond shape, on the ground, right under your behind. Now, making small, beating movements, flutter kick your legs. Shoot to keep this up, fluttering quickly, for 30 seconds straight. Then, pause and repeat. Try to do at least 10 sets.
Bicycles work far more abdominal muscles than regular crunches or sit-ups because they involve a wider range of movement and more intense resistance. Lying on your back, place your hands behind your head in a sit-up position. Always keep your elbows flat, rather than letting them curl in around your head. Raise your feet off of the ground with your knees bent, forming a tabletop position. Draw your left knee in to meet your right elbow, moving each limb about the same distance. As you do so, extend your right leg out straight. The lower you can hover your right leg above the ground, the harder your abs have to work. Then switch to the other side, bringing your right knee to meet your left elbow, while you straighten your left leg. Repeat this until you are completely exhausted. Then break and do it again, five to 10 times total. Remember to always keep your back on the ground, totally flat. If you feel it start to arch away from the floor, it’s time to stop and take a rest.
-“Mountain Climbers” Exercise Library
-“How to do a proper pushup” Nerd Fitness
-“FIT- Abs Workout” YouTube
-Photo courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net