A lot of us want that flatter and tighter tummy. But as we age, the farther we are far from achieving it. While a lot of ads try to woo us with their products that promise to flatten our mid-section within 3 days, know that that is just not gonna happen.
Many people expect instant results without working for it and that’s just mindblowing. If you must know, getting a toned body or abs won’t happen unless the calories you consume are less than or at least similar to what you expend.
If you consume more calories than what you spend, it could be the reason why no matter how many hundreds of crunches you do, your abs are a no-show.
Healthy eating habits are also important. You can’t expect to have abs asap if you’re consuming tacos, pizza, burgers, and chips every week.
So if you’re doing your part so you can get fit and healthy, then your body will work with you in achieving your goals. If you want tight and toned abs, then tight and toned abs you shall get!
Some people want to gain abs because they look good. They do, don’t get me wrong. They do because they’re synonymous with a fit and healthy lifestyle.
But there’s more to abs than that. They have physiological functions and benefits with them too.
What is an abdominal workout?
An abdominal workout is an exercise or set of exercises that target the abdominals and the muscles you see on the surface like rectus abdominis (the 6-pack abs), transverse abdominis (beside the 6-pack abs), internal obliques, and external obliques (both being referred to as the side muscles).
Benefits of Ab Workouts
Enhanced Sports Performance
All sports, if not all of them, need core strength. A strong core can provide stability and balance.
It supports the spine and the rest of the body to be in good alignment. The arms and legs also draw energy from the core. For this to happen, the core has to be steady and the spine poised.
Imagine sports like ice skating or basketball. Will a skater be able to maintain her balance while doing a spin without having a strong core? Will a basketball player be able to hit the ring beyond the 3-point lane?
Helps Prevent Lower Back Pain
Like the spine, ab workouts also benefit the lower back. A strong core and spine mean a strong lower back as well. This is because muscles work in coordination with each other.
When you work out your abs, you also work out your lower back muscles. If these are not mobilized, they become stiff and inflexible especially the ones surrounding the spine. This can cause lower back pain.
Ab exercises will also positively affect the lower back muscles and make them flexible, and thereby reducing pain.
Since ab workouts strengthen the muscles around the spine in the lower back, they help give you the proper posture needed for everyday mobility. Good posture indicates a good and healthy spine.
Good posture also implies lesser amounts of compression within the discs. This is especially important especially on the lower back where most back pains occur intensified by gravity.
Prolonged Weight Lifting
Ab exercises help you bear weight longer because the strength and energy from the core can transfer to your arms and help propel them upward. People lifting weights without the necessary core strength are more likely to acquire spinal injuries.
Ab exercises can help strengthen the surrounding muscles in the upper body. It also
Reinforces the spine. These two together help weight lifting effective and bearable.
Like everything else in the body, muscles help each other. When you work your core, you are also working your diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a muscle. In fact, it’s also a skeletal muscle. It works to contract during inhalation to create a vacuum to pull the air you breathe to the lungs and relax to push the air out of the lungs.
Working your core will also work the diaphragm and help it function effortlessly.
Ab workouts will definitely help get you a smaller waistline. This is because muscles can burn fat. The more you have, the more you can burn fat.
If you work on your core, you develop the muscles on your core (ab muscles) which will help burn off fat. Fat is located under the skin before the muscles. The more you do ab exercises, the more your muscles will contract giving no more space for the fat within.
Now the next question you may have is, What kinds of ab exercises should I do then?
Good question. Ab exercises come in many forms. But it all boils down into two ways on how you can do them: with equipment or with no equipment.
Both work on developing abs and gaining core strength. But one will get you to feel the burn better. And that’s with using an equipment.
There are several equipment I can recommend to help you achieve great abs along with your workouts:
- Sit-up bench
- Ab swing chair
- Captain’s chair
- Ab wheels/rollers
- Pull-up bars
- Balance ball
- Resistance/Suspension bands
There’s actually a whole lot of exercise equipment for ab workouts out in the market. The ones I’m using now are these hanging arm straps: DMoose Fitness Hanging Ab Straps.
Why did I choose them? Because, first, I wanted something new. Second, I can use them in the gym and at home.
They’re easy to use. You just hang them on a bar and start working on your ripped abs. I also find them really effective especially on my obliques.
Hanging on a bar means you need to work with your body weight while being pulled down by gravity. This is why I find these straps efficient because they help work my whole abs especially the lower abs and obliques.
I also find myself working on my balance and stability while hanging which is great because it’s like working on a lot with just these straps!
Ab workouts can do a lot of good things for your body. Fortunately today, there is a lot of exercise equipment we can choose from. But I always suggest doing your research and starting small.
Have a great ab workout everyone!