From time to time here, I’m going to recommend different ab workouts. Though you can aim to do these everyday, and you may, I am going to suggest that you aim to do one workout three times a week. If you’re feeling more adventurous, or especially motivated, try doing these every morning. If you can’t manage a short morning “workout”, or wakeup routine, say your day is overly packed and unmanageable as it is, find another time during the day. Remember, its easy to multitask, say watch television will you do sit ups.
Here I’m going to suggest a few workouts. You may already be familiar with some, though remember, it is important to switch up your workout after a while, otherwise, if you’re doing it right, you’ll find that you reach a peak and go no further with the same workouts. So here are a few that are great and hopefully will break up the routine for you!
Ab Workout 1: The Plank
Yup, you know it. However, you can always improve, or modify this to make it count.
Tips: Make sure you’re comfortable in the right places. Any good ab workout will make you feel “the burn”, and that is, no doubt, what you are looking for. However, be mindful of pain in your back other than muscle soreness. On the other hand, don’t want to use this as an excuse not to work out, and that is another reason I would recommend consulting a trainer who can help you differentiate and perfect your technique. The goal is to be absolutely flat, and to feel the burn in your stomach.
How to build: First, I would say duration. At the beginning you will be able to do about 1 minute. Each time you go on, set a new goal, and aim to beat it every three tries.
Second: When you get up to the 3.5, 5 minute area of your plank, you can move on to adding weight. Don’t add too much, and make sure only to perform this when you have a friend or workout buddy to assist you. Go ahead and add an item on top such as a weighted pad you can buy online, or even a textbook. Don’t use a hand weight or dumbbell, as you wouldn’t want it rolling off and hurting you or your friend. Your friend can help balance the weight for you by ensuring it stays put, without taking the weight with his hands. You won’t have to do this as long as you’re doing an unweighted plank.
My third recommendation is this: move your hips. Without any weight on your back, you’ll find that moving your hips up and down slightly, sort of like… you know… but more subtle, you’ll find you’ll feel the good burn in your abs more quickly and more acutely. So: stay flat as you would a normal, unweighted plank, and shift *just* your hips up and down. You should feel that pretty quickly. Experiment in this range, and see what engages your abs. One thing you can try more specifically, is to, ever so slightly, drop one hip, raise the other, vice versa, and repeat, almost like a small wiggling motion of your hips. Again, move around carefully in this position and see what you feel engages your abs.