I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want strong and ripped midsection. Abdominal and core workouts are sought after more than most other types of workouts. We know we need a strong core and of course everyone wants ripped abs.
However, abdominal training alone will not necessarily render you a ripped midsection. There are a few things to keep in mind though when talking about abdominal workouts.
1) Proper nutrition should be your first priority if you’re serious about abdominal training and making your abs visible. The bottom line here is determining how your body treats certain foods.
So you have to ask yourself if you’re body will convert the meal in front of you into energy and building muscle, or will the majority of those calories be stored as body fat?
2) Most of us cringe when we hear the word cardio but many people have misconceptions about cardio. Cardio is simply the process of getting your heart rate to a certain level.
The concept hear is to burn the most calories from fat while preserving or gaining lean muscle mass. Believe it or not there are weight training programs and exercises you can do that will serve as a true and more effective cardio plan.
3) Lastly, core training is extremely important. This means not limiting your abdominal workouts to just the exercises that target your abs. You also need to strengthen your lower back muscles and all the muscles that stabilize the spine.
The bottom line here is endless sets of situps and crunches are a waste of time. In fact most weight training exercises serve as the best core training and abdominal workouts.
Abdominal and Core Workout
This workout consists of abdominal training and core training and is designed to hit various angles. Take the first set of exercises, hanging leg raises and oblique bends, and superset them. Repeat this for two more circuits resting about a minute then go to the next set of exercises, hyperextensions and exercise ball crunches and superset them.
Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Rope Crunches: 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Hyper-extensions: 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Knee Raises: 3 sets x 12-20
Don’t rush through this workout; make sure you feel the muscles working and get solid muscle contractions on every rep. Swaying or using momentum defeats the purpose and can lead to injury. The goal is to work the muscles, not just go through the motions.
Abdominal and Core Fat Burning Workout
One of the best types of workouts to burn body fat which in turn will make your abs visible is high intensity interval training. You can read more about H.I.I.T. on TheMuscleProgram.com’s Cardio page.
The below abdominal workout consists of a circuit fat burning workout with abdominal exercises. This is a similar fat burning workout concept as doing supersets but instead of going from just one abdominal exercise to one more, you’ll be implement several abdominal exercises.
Leg Raises (hanging or on dip machine): 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Decline Sit-ups: 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Oblique Side-bends: 3 sets of 12-20 reps
Hyper-extensions: 3 sets x 12-20 reps
Bicycle Crunches: 3 sets x 12-20 (or do as many as you can in 30 second intervals)
You can really do this abdominal routine with any abdominal exercises you want; I listed the ones below just as an easy to follow workout example. The abdominal workout below consists of 5 abdominal exercises. You’ll perform each ab exercise and move quickly to the following ab exercise with no rest in between and repeat until you complete the final abdominal exercise. Once you’re finished the entire circuit you can repeat one or two more times.
This abdominal fat burning workout will indeed keep your heart rate elevated serving as an excellent form of cardio. Not only will this abdominal circuit workout burn fat but you’re also hitting a variety of angles here.
Best Exercise for Abdominal and Core Training
Do you want one exercise that works your entire abdominal area and core muscles? This is going to sound unorthodox and unconventional but here it is: Deadlifts. Now most of you visiting TheMuscleProgram.com are hear to build muscle mass anyway so you’re probably enjoying this. But the truth is that performing compound movements such as deadlifts stimulate almost every muscle throughout your entire body. This is why deadlifts are known to build slabs of muscle.
Of course many powerlifters you can deadlifting massive amounts of weight are by no means lean nor are most of them concerned about having visible abdominal muscles. But make no mistake these guys have some strong and healthy core muscles; they’re just not worried about gaining extra body fat because their primary goal is not being a bodybuilder or fitness model; it’s being able to lift massive amounts of weights.
Chances are if you’re goal is to build slabs of muscle and gain strength you’re already doing deadlifts and have a strong core. This is of course if you’re performing the exercise with proper form. If you’re wanting visible abs and are already implementing deadlifts into your weight lifting routine then you need to address your diet and nutrition, and perhaps adding in some cardiovascular exercise.