Don't Let the Lockdown Impact Your Health and Fitness Regime. Start Your Journey to Those Elusive Washboard Abs with These Top Ab Exercises at Home in 2020

Don't Let the Lockdown Impact Your Health and Fitness Regime. Start Your Journey to Those Elusive Washboard Abs with These Top Ab Exercises at Home in 2020

Not being able to go to the gym for your workout should not become a reason for you to compromise on your health and fitness. There are several abs exercises that you can do at home with minimal equipment to build a strong and stable core. Moreover, having strong abdominal muscles has tremendous health benefits as well. This BP Guide will take you through the top ab exercises for both men and women which can be easily done in a limited space like your home.

Benefits of Abs Exercises

You'll Beat Back Pain

Back pain is a pervasive problem in people who have a sedentary life. Weak abdominal muscles are one of the causes of lower back pain. The muscles of your lower back become rigid in the common areas, which can lead to severe back pain. However, regular abdominal exercises that target regions from the spine to the lower back muscles make them less rigid and more flexible, which ultimately help to reduce the back pain.

Your Posture Will Improve

Physical activities associated with the abdominal muscles improve body posture while sitting, standing or walking; a correct posture reduces the effect of lower back pain. Abdominal exercises also provide you with a better posture by making you feel uncomfortable when your body is positioned wrong. A strong posture is essential for people who are prone to injuries. Furthermore, abdominal workouts make the muscles around the spine very strong; in this way, these muscles distribute any pressure applied to them that leads to a better posture. In the long run, an improved posture enhances your self-confidence!

You'll Have Better Balance

If you want your upper body to be in a stable position, a strong core can definitely help you. An abdominal workout not only enables you to move efficiently but also allows you to avoid injuries. There are global tests to check the balance of individuals. For instance, in one test participants are asked to stand straight on one leg for 60 seconds to pass. These tests showed that people who regularly performed abs exercises were more likely to pass than those who didn’t.

Regular physical stress on your abdominal muscles allows the muscles in your lower back, abdomen, hips, and pelvis to work in synchrony. This ultimately leads to improved balance and stability. You need balance in a plethora of day to day activities such as walking on a bumpy road.

10 Best Abs Exercises for All

Hard Style Plank

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Lay down on the ground with your body facing the ground and form up yourself into the same position as the forearm plank. Make sure your hands are in the shape of fists, and your elbows aligned with your shoulders. Your forearms should be parallel to each other. Stay in this position for 20 to 60 seconds per set. When your body is in the plank position, you should squeeze your body (core, back, glutes, quads and fists). The tighter your body is, the more productive the plank is.

Hardstyle plank improves the stimulus environment of the abdominal muscles as compared to other workouts such as crunches. It works on the back muscles as well. Once you're comfortable for 60 seconds in this position, you can increase the intensity of the exercise by increasing the duration of the plank.

Bicycle Crunch

Lay down on the ground facing up. You bend your knees to make a 90° angle and keep your hands close to your temples. Crunch up and turn your body with the motion of a bicycle with your legs. If you crunch up towards the left, then you should also draw your left knee in, and the same goes for the right. Repeat for as many reps as you can perform and try to increase the number of reps as you get more comfortable with the exercise.

A study in San Diego found out that the bicycle crunch was ranking at the top in terms of stimulating the activity in the abdominal muscles. It also offers to strengthen the oblique and your lower stomach. An American study too found out that it is the best exercise for your abdominal muscles as it offers the most considerable stimulus to the oblique as well.

Dumbbell Side Bend

Stand straight with your feet as far apart as your shoulder’s width. Strongly grip a dumbbell in the right hand and bring it straight up in the air. Tighten your core and then force your waist and hips to the right side. Your torso will shift towards the left. Stay in this position for a few seconds and then return to the initial position. Repeat this for the left side. Also, perform this workout for 12 to 20 times in one set.

You should pick the right weights to make this exercise effective. Do not go too light; you should feel the burn in your abs but also avoid utterly heavyweights. Using the right weights will enable you to focus on keeping your abdominal muscles tight, which will give you the desirable results.

Sit Up

Lay down on the floor with your back in contact with the ground. Bend your knees and tighten your feet under something stable to prevent them from moving. Put your hands behind your head for the stability of your body and tighten your core as you curl your upper body up towards the thighs. Return to the initial position to complete one rep. Opt for three sets of sit-ups with 25-50 reps each time to develop your abs.

Sit up is one of the traditional exercises to build your abdominal muscles. Most people already know how to perform it, but the most crucial tip here is to tighten your abdominal muscles during the motion. You should be able to feel the burn in your muscles rather than mere movement. It also helps your body to get used to the right angle of motion.

Crunch

Lay down on the floor with your back in contact with the ground and your knees bent. Put your hands behind your head to provide stability during the motion. Lift your shoulders bending your abdominal muscles by the push from your lower back against the floor. Your lower back should remain in contact with the ground to get the desirable results. Tighten your abdominal muscles throughout the motion with the tensest at the top point, then return to the initial position gradually.

Crunches are an old-school exercise for abdominal muscles. However, they are still one of the favourites due to the efficiency level of the exercise. An American study found out that crunches are a very useful core-busting movement. It is very effective in the initial stages of the gym to target your upper core.

Russian Twist

Sit down on the floor with your back straightened out, and your knees bent. Your legs should be flat on the floor. Now, lean back slightly and grip on to one dumbbell with both your hands. Then, gently curl your torso to the left while bringing the dumbbell besides your left hip at the same time. Move to the centre. Now, gently curl your torso to the right while bringing the dumbbell besides your right hip at the same time. This is one complete rep.

For people who do not have access to the equipment yet want to challenge their abs, the Russian twist is the ultimate exercise. It is beneficial for people who want to build their oblique and transverse abs. Other workouts such as crunches and sit-ups are not useful for these.

Reverse Crunch

Lay down on your back and raise your legs in a way that your thighs are vertical with bent knees making a 90° angle. Tighten your abs and bring your knees towards your chest with raised hips off the ground, then return your legs to the initial position in a stable manner. This is one rep.

The reverse crunch is more effective than the traditional crunch as it helps strengthen your abdominal muscles with greater intensity. The motion keeps your targeted muscles under stress for an extended period. It hits the torso to target your lower core, oblique and lower abdominal muscles. To make your workout more intense, hold a dumbbell over your head with a strong grip.

Side Plank Dips

Position yourself in a left side plank posture. Keep your left forearm on the floor, aligned with the top of the mat, and under the shoulder. Your right hand should be on your hips while your right leg should be parallel to the left. Now, lower your hips towards the ground for a couple of inches. Then, come back to the start. That's one rep. Perform 15 reps on each side.

The side plank dip provides a new angle to the classic plank. The muscles focused by this exercise support your lower back and prevent back pains in the near future. Researches have also found that those individuals with stronger hip and back exterior muscles encountered back pains lesser after performing this workout than those who didn't.

Mountain Climbers

Start this exercise by positioning yourself in a high plank stance with your arms lengthened out. Your body should be in a straight decorum. Now, move your right knee towards your left elbow. Gently bring your knee back to the initial position and pull your left knee towards your right elbow. That's one rep. Perform 15 reps.

This workout is optimal for oblique and transverse abs. One tip regarding this workout is to pull your stomach muscles throughout this exercise to enhance the intensity. Another tip is to start with 20 seconds of this work out and work your way to 60 seconds. Overall, this workout is excellent for burning calories and developing abs.

Dead Bug

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To begin with, lay on your back. Stretch your arms over your chest. Now, raise your legs and bend them at 90°. While your lower back and floor are in contact, gently straighten your lower right leg till your heel touches the floor. Pause for a moment to regain your strength. Repeat the same steps for the other side. Perform 15 reps for optimal results.

This exercise is ideal for transverse abs. One tip is to ensure that your lower back stays in continuous contact with the floor. Also, try to breathe at regular intervals. This exercise is constructive for training left and right coordination between your upper and lower body. It enhances cognitive function as well.

Ways to Get Those Abs Fast

Stay Hydrated

Water plays an important role in enhancing your health. It is very crucial for body functions ranging from temperature regulation to the transport of nutrients. But how is this related to abs enhancement? In simple words, water enhances the metabolism of your body to a great degree. In this way, it burns fat and helps you get six-pack abs. One study found out that consuming half a litre of water increased the energy levels of the participants by 24%. Water also helps reduce weight in another way. Often, our bodies misconstrue thirst as hunger. By drinking a sufficient amount of water, you reduce your appetite by understanding whether you’re actually hungry or just thirsty.

The requirement of water intake varies for different age groups, lifestyles and body weights. The average amount of water intake recommended is 1-2 litres. One tip to reduce weight through water intake is to drink water before meals.

Intensity

Intensity is the second most important thing to consider in order to speed up the process of getting a set of six-pack abs. To increase the intensity of the workout, you need to favour some more effective workouts over others. For instance, standard workouts such as crunches are effective; however, sit-ups involve your entire upper body instead of specific parts such as the head, neck and shoulder blades. In this way, they enhance the intensity of the workout.

Another way to increase the intensity of your workouts is to take fewer breaks between your workouts. This ensures that your body muscles are constantly engaged for a more vigorous calorie burn. One last tip is to lift heavier weights than you usually lift. The heavier the weights, the stronger the workout and the faster your muscles will grow.

Variation

Variation is particularly significant for abs development for the human body is very adaptable. Your muscles adapt to stress at a certain angle if you regularly perform a workout at that angle without any variation. To burn fat effectively, the body should not have adapted to a workout or else the workout will merely be just another routine activity.

That is why variation in your workout routine is another important thing that helps speed up the process to strengthen the core and get a set of 6-pack abs. When you go to the gym, you do not perform the same shoulder, chest, or leg workouts over and over again. In the same way, abdominal muscle workouts must also be varied to deepen the effect on your muscles. For instance, instead of laying your legs flat on the ground during a Russian twist, raise them at an angle to add variation.

From our editorial team

Get Strong Abs Without Going Out of Your Home

As you would have probably learnt by now, you can build strong abs within the confines of your home itself with the exercises mentioned in this BP Guide. We hope you will resume your exercise regime immediately and strive for better health and fitness. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.