If there’s one muscle group that gets the most attention, it has to be the abs! Whether you’re aiming for that elusive six-pack, trying to shed some belly fat, or are focused on strengthening your core, almost everyone looks for the best abs exercises to try at home. When it comes to exercises for your abs, the goal of any workout should be improving core stability because your core is involved in every single activity we do. Every time you sneeze, laugh, lift something, or even walk, we are engaging our core muscles. Whether you are looking towards building core strength or getting washboard abs, here are some of the best ab workouts to try at home.
What are the Best Ab Exercises?
There is no definitive workout that is best for everyone. The best workout is specific to your body type, your fitness level, and your exercise goals. However, there are some recommendations that will help you get the most out of your workout:
- Do a range of exercises that target all four ab muscle groups
- Schedule your exercise so that you work on your abs two to four times a week and take rest days in between
- Ensure that you warm-up and get your blood pumping before you work those abs. Do some stretches and jumping jacks so that your muscles are flexible and warm before you begin
- Make an easy routine that you can stick to. You could start with 8-10 reps of each exercise or create a circuit where you do all the exercises for the day one in single sets. Repeat the circuit up to 3 times for a good workout
During your workout you’ll want to work all four of your ab muscle groups. These four are the:
- External abdominal obliques: Extending from the lower half of the ribcage down to the pelvis
- Internal abdominal obliques: The stabilizing muscles that run underneath the external obliques
- Transversus abdominis: They are spread horizontally across the midsection and are the deepest of the four muscles
- Rectus abdominis: Colloquially these are the ‘six-packs’ that everyone wants to achieve.
What are the best exercises to do at home?
Just as there are no best workouts or diets, there are no ideal ab exercises. This depends on your fitness level, other health conditions, and how your body responds to the workout.
Here are some of the 6 of the most popular exercises for your abs:
1. Basic Crunch
- Lie on your back and bend your knees
- Place your fingertips lightly behind your head but do not pull on your neck as you perform this move
- Engage your core, keep your neck soft, and crunch your abs as you move upwards
- You do not have to lift your torso all the way up. As long as your abs are engaging, just lifting your shoulders off the floor is enough
- Repeat 10 times
- Lie on your stomach with your feet at hip width
- Place your palms at chest-level and push up, letting your body lift in a straight line
- Keep your abs engaged to maintain the straight line of your body
- Avoid arching your back or dipping your hips
- Try to hold the position for as long as you can and then return to the floor. The aim is to hold it for 60 seconds and then try variations on the same position
3. Bicycle Crunch
- Lie on your back with knees bent and your fingertips behind your head
- Engage your abs and lift your shoulders off the floor, lifting your legs at the same time
- Touch your right elbow to your left knee, twisting your abs to one side
- Bicycle your feet and repeat on the other side
4. Mountain Climber
- Start on all fours with your arms straight and firm
- Engage your core and jump your left foot up towards your left hand
- Jump your left foot back and your right foot forward
- Repeat on the other side
5. Jackknife Crunch
- Lie on your back with your arms stretched overhead and your legs straight
- Use your core to lift your legs and arms simultaneously to form a V-shape
- Bring them down slowly, keeping your core engaged and your lower back flat against the ground
- Repeat a few times
6. Boat Pose
- Start in a seated position with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you
- Lean back, bend your knees and stretch your arms out beside your knees
- Use your core to remain upright while you lean into a 45-degree angle
- Hold the position for 30-60 seconds using your abs to remain upright
- Slowly lower to your back again
What are the best Workouts for Defined Abs?
One of the greatest myths about abs is the belief that doing ab exercises will give you the coveted six-pack. The right ab workouts to do at home will strengthen your abs and define muscles, but if you have belly fat, you will not be able to see those muscles. If you’re looking for definition on your abdomen, you will have to focus on losing fat and eating right.
The best way to get defined abs is through a training schedule that allows you to burn fat and build muscle.
These cardio exercises will melt away those pounds:
- Cardio workouts
When it comes to muscle building, you should focus on exercises that strengthen and define. Some routines that will help are:
- Resistance training
A schedule that mixes the above cardio and strength training workouts will help you lose weight. In addition, your diet matters too. After all, abs are made in the gym but revealed in the kitchen. Your diet should have low amounts of alcohol, sugar, processed food or processed fats.
The general idea is to meet your caloric requirement through good carbs and add decent amount of protein from a variety of sources while focusing on consuming good fats. This means eating more of:
- Carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains and fruits)
- Protein (lean meat, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, legumes, soy, pulses and other sources)
- Fats (avocado, oily fish, nuts, seeds, ghee, coconut oil)
What are the Best Ab Workouts for Men and Women to do at Home?
There is not a lot of difference between an abs routine for men and women. Biologically, women are wider at the pelvis, have a longer waist and are predisposed to a higher body fat percentage, which hides those abdominal muscles. This may mean that for some women, it takes longer to get results than a man who follows the same diet and workout schedule.
However men and women can practice all of the ab exercises mentioned above and should see similar results.
What are the best Ab Workouts with Equipment that you can do at Home?
If you have the budget and the space at home, you could consider investing in some equipment for your home. Start small with equipment such as an exercise ball, a hanging bar, barbells, or a kettle bell. You can move up to an abs bench as you get better.
How to get your Six Pack Even Faster!
If this isn’t enough or you want to get your six pack even faster then you should consider finding a personal trainer or a group fitness class near you. Either way, Avaana can help! Compare and contrast your local practitioners so that you can find the best one for you. Book today and receive up to 20% off your first booking!
Be well, feel good, and smile a lot!