Ab workouts for fab abs! 5 exercises to include in your fitness regime

Ab workouts are a great way to showcase those six pack abs, as well as strengthen the muscles of the abdomen.
A woman doing bicycle crunches for abs
Ab workouts engage your core and must be done in the right manner. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 15 Nov 2023, 04:36 pm IST
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If you have been searching for more impactful and quickest ways to build your abs. While six pack abs might be the reason for you to embark on this journey, these ab workout exercises also focus on strengthening your core and redefining your abdominal muscles. Wondering what all to include in your regime to get this?

Health Shots got in touch with fitness expert and Fit India Ambassador Wanita Ashok to spill the beans on the best and most effective ab workouts that assure you results.

What are ab workouts?

Ab workouts are exercises specifically designed to target and strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis. “Ab workouts can include a variety of exercises such as crunches, planks, Russian twists, leg raises, and more. Incorporating a mix of different exercises and focusing on proper form and technique is important for effectively working the abdominal muscles,” explains Ashok.

How many ab workouts should you include in your routine every day?

Ab workouts are quality not quantity. “You should do up to 2-3 ab workouts in a session. All worked out muscles for 48 hours before you work out them out again. It is important to allow rest and recovery time for the muscles helps is muscle growth and recovery,” adds Ashok.

A woman doing planks for abs
It is one of the best exercises to work your abs as well as your overall body. Image courtesy: Freepik

She says, “Overdoing ab workouts can lead to overtraining and potential injury just like any other muscle group, the abs need time to rest and recover to grow and strengthen,” explains Ashok.

Overworking the abs can also lead to imbalances in the core muscles, which can affect posture and overall stability. Ab exercises should be teamed with logo back strengthening exercises which is the opposing muscle group.

Also read: 5 best chest workouts for upper body strength

Best ab workout exercises to follow

A study published in the American Council on Exercise listed out the best exercises, specifically for the stomach. The study was conduced on 30 men and women, between the ages of 20-45 years. Here are the best ab workouts to follow:

1. Bicycle crunches

To do this, you need to lie down on your back in a way that you back touches the ground. Now, lift your knees and bring them close to your chest. After this, lift your shoulders. Now, straighten your left leg, and turn your upper body to the right, and vice-versa.

2. Captain’s chair

This needs a seat-less chair, which has a back as well as arms. Raise your knees and bring them close to your chest. Now, engage your abmuscles and lower your legs slowly.

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3. Crunches, on a balance ball

Put your hands behind your head, as you lid down on the ball. Now bring yourself forwards while engaging with your core muscles.

Also read: Plank it out! Tighten your core with this ab-toning exercise

4. Vertical leg crunch

Keep your legs perpendicular to the floor and make sure they are straight. Now get your shoulders and upper back off the floor. Hold this position for one second.

5. Torso track workout

Place the torso track on the floor and get down on all fours, knees must be on the cushion and grab the handles. Now move forward, you back must be straight. Contract your abs to see how far you can go, by lowering your stomach. Now, pull yourself back.

Bicycle crunches for abs
The bicycle crunch is the perfect exercise to tone your midsection and slim your waist. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

What are the common mistakes that people make while doing ab workouts?

While ab workouts have many advantages, Ashok tells you what to be careful of!

1. Overtraining tops the list

As most people overdo crunches as they are confident that this will flatten their midsection. Over training muscles can lead to injury and imbalances in the core muscles.

2. Poor form

Many people tend to use momentum or rely on their hip flexors to perform ab exercises, rather than engaging the actual abdominal muscles. This can lead to strain and you can end up with an injury too.

3. Neglecting other muscle groups

The core is made up of more than just the abs, so it’s important to incorporate exercises that target the entire core, including the obliques, lower back, and pelvic floor muscles.

4. Not incorporating variety

Doing the same ab exercises over and over can lead to plateaus in strength and muscle growth. It’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises to challenge the core muscles in different ways.

5. Not breathing properly

Many people tend to hold their breath while doing ab exercises, which can lead to increased intra-abdominal pressure and potential injury. It’s important to breathe properly and engage the core muscles while performing ab exercises.

6. Not warming up

Skipping a proper warm-up before ab workouts can increase the risk of injury. It’s important to properly prepare the body for exercise by warming up the muscles and increasing blood flow.

7. Not focusing on nutrition

Diet is a big part of building strong abs. Neglecting nutrition can hinder progress in strengthening the abdominal muscles.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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