Author: K Purden
When people think about exercises to firm up their abdominal muscles, sit-ups and crunches always come to mind. While crunches may be part of an exercise regime to work out the abs, there are many other strategies and methods that may be utilized by people looking to lose belly fat, make their six pack abs pop out, and condition the whole body as well.
Effective abdominal exercises that are, in most cases, geared towards delivering lasting benefits to the entire body, ideally must begin with some guidance from a certified trainer who will be able to expertly guide and teach you the importance of preciseness when you get going with your workout. A good exercise plan will also have, among its major components, recommended meal plans and dietary suggestions, with due emphasis on macronutrients - high quality proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats that may help an individual carry on with a mild-to-moderate or intense training/workout program. In most cases, the dietary recommendations are customized to suit individual needs and requirements.
There are seemingly simple abdominal exercises (and for most people, easy does it or easy is the best) such as those suggested by Shawn Phillips, strength and fitness expert and author of the book, Strength for Life. He devised variations of the traditional crunches, starting off with Swiss Ball ab crunches, followed by reverse crunches, and capped off by ab crunches. These are to be performed in three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Crunches can help tone the muscles but a person with excess poundage must lose the belly fat first to see those muscles, and therein lies the challenge of sticking to a healthy diet.
Training the midsection if important because apart from revving up and uncovering six pack abs, the abdominals' core muscles improve posture, reduce low back pain as well as injury risk, and strengthen the torso. From certified trainers' point of view, the most effective and hence the best abdominal exercises include ab crunches that flex the upper abs and serve as foundation for the entire workout; reverse crunches that strengthen the lower abs; and side bends that work on lateral oblique muscles. There is also the bicycle, adjudged by the American Council on Exercise as among the best abdominal exercises because it utilizes every muscle in the abs to create a well-built torso.
It must be reiterated, at this point, that abdominal exercises per se may not create the washboard abs you may be longing for if you happen to have a sluggish metabolism. There many ways, however, to speed up your metabolism, including healthy snacking in between meals or going for low glycemic index carbohydrates (like oatmeal, multi-grain and whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and certain vegetables), aerobic exercises or cardio workout, hydrating/drinking enough water to stay energized, lifting weights, and monitoring food intake in a diary. Indeed, uncovering six pack abs requires constant monitoring of what, how much, and when you eat. Exercising, eating well, and bringing out six pack abs is no mean feat. Discipline and patience are essential. If many people can tone their abdominal muscles well, trim their belly fat and let six pack abs emerge, so can you, with much help from a proven program that's certifiably safe and effective.
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