Man do I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen an ab workout on social media. I mean abs galore and SO many kinds of crunches and planks. I have nothing against crunches and planks, but to be honest with you... all by themselves they aren't doing much for your physique.
We can do millions of crunches, but until we figure out an exercise plan that truly works it's not going to work. NOW, in this article I'm only focused on FITNESS, but please please remember that ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN.
You can do everything right when it comes to exercise, but if nutrition is off then it's an up hill battle to flatten a tummy. Don't get mad at me. I'm just being truthful :)
How often do I do crunches? NEVER. How often do I do "ab workouts"? NEVER. These targeted ab movements are great and all, but only when strategically placed in a workout that promotes fat-burning and engages a larger muscle group. It might sound odd, but your abs are much better off doing Squats and Overhead Walking Lunges than crunches. To get the best bang for your buck in your fast and effective workout, you need to engage large muscle groups, while also working the abdominals.
One more point. Lift Heavy Weights. Yes I know we say this all the time. That said, the powerful action of just lifting those weights while maintaining your balance uses your core- a lot. Add in large, full body movements and they really pack a punch.
So what are my favorite exercises for Abs?
1. Ground to Overhead Movements: A few examples include thrusters, power cleans, Burpee-Curl-Press, Lawn Mowers. When we move a challenging load from the ground (or close to it) overhead it works our entire body including our entire core.
2. Front Loaded Movements: A few examples include Front Squats, thrusters, and power curls. When we hold a weight in front of us it requires our abdominals to engage for balance.
3. Overhead Carry Movements: Next time you are doing walking lunges move your weights overhead. The same goes for squats or even just walking. Holding weights over our heads again requires extra balance which require the core to work harder.
4. Plyometrics: Oh the power of the burpee. Exercises like Burpees, Get Ups, and Mountain Climbers require lots of core strength and also help us achieve an anaerobic state where we burn fat while we work a variety of muscles that help with stabilization and rotation.
5. Sprints: I often hear our Momsanity Sisters comment about how sore their abdominals are after a round of sprints. When we run as fast as we can for a short period of time we work our fast-twitch muscles that are often at rest. Additionally, it takes a lot of core strength to make our legs work that quickly
We would love to hear from you! What is your favorite abdominal exercise?