Any exercise that involves weights tends to also work the abdominal section, whether it’s directly or indirectly. Squats and deadlifts are excellent exercises that work a large variety of muscle groups in the body and the only piece of equipment needed is either a barbell or a set of dumbbells.
If one is interested in really focusing in on the stomach muscles, doing a separate abdominal workout in addition to a regular workout program can provide great results. A successful abdominal workout will work every angle of the ab muscles and include three to four sets of a variety of ab exercises. Three to four exercises should be sufficient.
Upper Abdominal Workout
Some exercises that work the upper abs include:
- Sit-ups – Lie flat on back with feet on the floor, knees slightly bent. Place the fingertips behind the head, look towards the ceiling and sit up, then slowly lower back down to the starting position. This is one repetition.
- Crunches – These are similar to sit-ups except for that one doesn’t “sit up” all the way. Crunch up to bring the neck a few inches off the floor and slowly lower back down.
Abdominal Workout for the Obliques
Abdominal workouts for the obliques include:
- Twists – These need to be done carefully so as not to injure the spine. Stand erect holding a broom or similar object and twist from left to right making sure to keep the abs tight.
- Oblique Crunch – To perform an oblique crunch, lie on the ride or left side of the body and crunch up a few inches off the floor, then slowly return to the starting position. Once the desired number of sets and repetitions have been completed, switch and do the other side.
Lower Abdominal Workout
Exercises for the lower abdominals include:
- Hanging Leg Raises – Hang from a pull up bar and lift the legs out in front of the body, making sure to keep them as straight as possible, then slowly lower back down to the starting position. For a modified version, bend the legs at the knees and bring the knees up close to the body and slowly lower back down.
- Lying Leg Raises – These are very similar to hanging leg raises, except they are done lying flat on the floor. Simply lie on the back, keeping the legs straight, lift them up towards the ceiling and then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
A toned midsection can be achieved by choosing a few of these exercises and designing your own abdominal workout. For best results, perform an abdominal workout once or twice per week.