Some of the best abs workouts involve machines; others just involve your hard work and flat-floor exercises. Always start with the simplest: exercises involving only your body and mind.
While toning and sculpting your body, you always want to focus on getting toned, hard abs. Your abdominal, with diet and exercise, can look the way you want them to, provided you’re ready to do the work to get them.
The Best Exercises for Abs
The best overall abs exercises are the traditional ones: situps, crunches, and the bicycle. These three exercises should be done daily in 3 sets of at least 12-20 if you’re really trying to get those abs of steel – and that’s even after you achieve the abs. Think of them like jogging. If you do your abdominal exercises every single day, your six pack will stay in place.
You have to do these exercises for abs properly, however. Most people don’t quite get the situp right; to do these properly, you must have your feet flat on the ground, and your shoulders should never quite touch the ground throughout the set. Ask yourself this question: during your abdominal training routine, are your abdominal muscles tense and taut? Your muscles should never fully relax during a set targeting them.
Best Lower Abdominal Exercises
Everyone trying to tone their abs knows that the hardest part to shape up is the lower abs. In many cases, that’s because the abs exercises they are using are not properly targeting those lower abdominal muscles.
The lower abs muscles are in a deeper layer than we normally think they are. There are two primary sets: the rectus abdominus and the transverse abdominus. Both can be found directly under the bellybutton, and when targeting them it’s your bellybutton you want to focus on.
The transverse abdominus is a sort of underpinning – you won’t get a six pack abs focusing just on it, but if it’s not hard and fit your other six pack exercises are kind of pointless. This is the muscle that pulls the bellybutton inward toward the spine, and that’s the sensation you want to focus on when you target that muscle.
The rectus abdominus pulls the front pelvis toward the bellybutton; most men likely notice this one during sex. To work this muscle, focus on abs exercises that use your legs, like the bicycle.
During abdominal training, you should never feel pain in your back. If ever you do, then STOP. You are working the wrong muscles, which means you are doing your abs exercises wrong.
Using A Machine for Abs
When you’ve tried all the basic abs exercises you can find and still nothing has worked, it may be time to go to the machines. From situp boards to targeted-muscle tension weights, the benefit of most machines is that they allow you to easily target specific muscles and muscle groups during your abs exercises. Get professional advice before using these, if you’re serious about that six pack abs. Even if you don’t hurt yourself with them, an abs machine used wrong can cause more harm than good to your future perfectly-toned body.