If you are looking to use stomach exercises to shape your midsection, keep in mind that the exercise routine is only one-third of the equation. Your genes and diet make up the other two-thirds.
Genetically we are all shaped differently and everyones abs will look different once all the fat is shed and the muscles are protruding. It may not be realistic to expect picture perfect abs like the abs you might have seen in the most recent health and fitness magazine. That being said however, it is very possible to make your abs look good, just not similar.
What you eat is the largest determinant of how your abs will look. It does not matter how many stomach exercises you do and how strong your abs are, you wont be able to see that six pack under a layer (or two) of fat. If you want to develop your abs, get into a habit of eating healthy foods on a consistent, ongoing basis.
Once you have committed yourself to eating healthier, then you can realistically begin to see your abs begin to develop using the right stomach exercises and ab workout routines. Strengthening your abs not only makes you look good, but since the stomach and abs are the core of your body, they’ll help you be stronger in all other aspects and will help prevent you from future injury. It only makes sense to want to learn the correct stomach exercises and spend some time training your abs.
Stomach Exercises Using an Exercise Ball
Using an exercise ball works your abs more because the exercise ball decreases the amount of stability your body has. Any type of stomach exercise you use that decreases your bodies stability will cause the abs to work harder and be a much tougher workout.
Some stomach exercises you can use with an exercise ball are as follows:
- crunches, front and side
- ball kick outs
- lying leg raises (ball between legs)
Stomach Exercises Using Weights
If you are not only looking to make your abs look better but actually make your abs bigger and stronger, stomach exercises using weights is the only way to get it done. Your muscle tissue will only grow when you work it to the limit and force the tissue to grow back bigger and stronger than it was before. So when you train your abs with weights, be sure to increase the amount of weight every few weeks.
Here are a few stomach exercises with weights you can use:
- decline weighted sit-ups
- weigh abdominal twists
- hanging leg raises using ankle weights
Contraction Stomach Exercises
Last but not least are the contraction exercises. All this means is that you should train your abs to contract by flexing them. The more you do this, the easier it becomes and the longer you’ll be able to flex the abs. You can contract your abs anywhere, even sitting down!
The best stomach exercise for contracting your abs is the plank. Act like you are going to do a push up but use your forearms and toes to hold your body up and hold it there contracting your abs for a minute to a minute and a half.