If you are like me then you see the value in having a chiseled abs. It goes deeper than just being able to take your shirt off confidentially at the beach. It is about feeling comfortable in your own skin. No one should feel like a stranger in their own body.
An essential part of living in alignment is about engaging your body and connecting it with your spirit being. It is not enough to think or believe something; if it really matters to you it will cause you to act on it. Such has been the case with me and my abs. Health and wellness is paramount to living your dream life.
You cannot just acquire something, you must inhabit it. This boils down to putting your money where your mouth is. Much of what we want is not difficult to attain, but the value is in being able to sustain that quality of life. From a practical perspective strengthening your core muscles is more worthwhile than not.
In addition to helping you look like a Greek god, strengthening your abs also helps with posture, overall physical strength, endurance, and stamina. When you have a strong core you reduce your chances of injury, back pains, and poor posture. Here are five of my personal favorite ab workouts that you should start doing today:
First up is crunches. I love a good crunch. They are a quick and easy way to engage your core. When I do mine I activate my core by squeezing my ab muscles throughout the whole movement.
I do a full motion crunch by using the momentum from my legs to work my lower abdomen as well. Crunches have a lot of variations. If you want more flexion in your back (which would allow for a more intentional crunch), you can use a ball to extend your radius.
2. Hanging Leg Raises
One of my problem areas is my lower stomach. I have a belt of stubborn fat there that I have been slowly but surely chiseling away at. For that reason, hanging leg raises are a God sent.
This workout is great for your lower abs while also allowing for you to get a nice upper body stretch from hanging on the bar. The key behind this workout is not only using your abs to lift your hips and legs; But also using your abs to stabilize you, keeping you from swaying back and forth.
These bad boys have a special place in my heart! I love bicycle crunches. Aside from being by far one the most fun ab workouts you can do, it also activates your entire core.
The concept behind this workout is that as you cycle your legs back and forth you touch opposite elbow to opposite knee. While doing this motion you are also utilizing your core to stabilize and support your movements. This one is definitely a 9/10 recommend.
4. Reverse Crunches
This one is another heavy hitter. Similar in motion to the regular crunch however, this exercise puts emphasis on your lower abs. You start with your legs extended with a slight bend in your knee.
You then engage your abs by bringing up and tucking your knees into your chest. When doing the tucking motion you want your lower back and hips to come off the floor ever so slightly so that you are getting a full range of motion.
All hail King plank. If you are not familiar, planks are an abs workout staple – at least to me anyway. The idea behind this movement is that you want to put yourself in a position where you could potentially double as a table.
Your back should be so straight that you could host a tea party with fine china on it. This is achieved by not only being in a plank position but also by squeezing your abs in the process. This is a great workout for core strength.
A typical bench mark for me is 1:30 – 2:00 minutes. That is definitely easier said than done, so when you try these just go at your own pace. A 30 second hold at a time is a good place to start.
Bonus Workout: Steam Rollers
I am all about adding value and this post is not an exception to that. Here are a couple of bonus workouts that you could try. Steam rollers are a great ab workout because you are engaging your core while doing some calisthenics at the same time.
Steam rollers consist of the same movements as bicycles with the only notable difference being, that you are standing. Make sure you are being intentional with getting your core involved by squeezing your abdomen throughout the movement.
Bonus Workout: Hanging Toe Touches
Here is another one of my go -to ab routines. Let me start by saying that these are not for the faint of heart. If you want to take the leg raises to the next level try inverting yourself. This workout ravages your core because the only way your feet are touching the bar/your hands is, if you have a strong core.
The first time I attempted these they were not happening. I could not invert my lower body at all. Now they are a little easier since my core is stronger however, skillfulness in this technique comes from your ability to stabilize. Getting your legs up is only half the battle, the other half is coming back down without swinging or swaying.
I hope you found value in this post and will try out at least one of the workouts I laid out. I had a lot of fun creating this content so please feel free to let me know what you think and if you want to see more stuff like this from me. Remember I want you to be wealthy – and health is wealth. What good is all the money in the world if you cannot enjoy it? Do not neglect your body, it needs you to take care of it.
I want to hear from you! Let me know if you found value in this post in the comment section below.