In preparation for a competition, whether it’s fitness, muscle or beauty, your body is ALWAYS the determining factor of a winner. Sure, your thighs and arms need to be toned, but your abdominals are always where the eyes seem to look first. Your diet is a factor in the abdominal workout’s effectiveness. You need to make sure that you are burning more calories than you are taking in. If you are taking in more than you’re burning, the excess fat will be stored somewhere; the abdominals are a major area for fat storage. Sit-ups and crunches can only get you so far, you need an abdominal routine that targets all the areas of your stomach to give you that flat toned look you need!
One of the best things you can do to achieve a flat stomach is running. Running or jogging engages most of your muscles in your body, including your stomach and obliques. This is a great fat burner, the more you run the more fat you burn, the higher your metabolism will get, the tighter your muscles will become, and then it becomes surprisingly easy to attain a flat stomach! To get the best results during this exercise, you should incorporate interval training. Interval training is bursts of high intensity in your workout routine. An example of using interval training while running is; jog for 10 minutes and then sprint for 5 to 10 minutes. Running or jogging for at least 30 minutes a day is really all you need!
After running, jump right into the cross-legged crunch. Sit on the floor cross-legged, and lie on your back. Without interlocking your fingers, place your hands behind your head. Crunch forward until your elbows reach the edge of your rig cage, pause for a second and then return to your starting position. You should do 5 sets of 15-50 of this exercise. This exercise works your abdominals and your obliques.
Place your feet flat on the floor and bring your knees together to put you in the sit-up position. Keeping your knees together, turning at your hips, lay them down to the right. Place your left arm straight out to the side and put your right arm behind your head. Your knees should be on top of each other on top of your right thigh, and your shoulders should be flat on the floor. From this position crunch forward until your chin reaches the top of your rib cage, and then return to start. After completing 5 sets of 15-50, switch positions so your hips are facing left, your right arm is straight out to the side, and your left arm is behind your head, and repeat for the left side. This exercise works your upper abdominals and your obliques.
After completing the side crunch, lie on your back and straighten your legs, and extend your arms above your head on the floor. Keeping your legs and arms locked; bend at the waist while raising your arms and legs to meet in a jackknife position. Lower your legs and arms back to the floor to resume your starting position. You should do 2 sets of 15; this is a difficult exercise with explosive results. This exercise works your upper and lower abdominals.
Next we’ll move to the leg lifts. You will lay fully extended on the floor, with your hands under your buttocks, palms facing down. Raise your legs until they are approximately 6″-12″ off the floor, maintain this position, it is your starting point. From here you will raise your legs straight up in the air until your body creates a perpendicular angle. Lower your legs back to the starting point, holding them at 6″-12″ off the floor. For this exercise you should do 5 sets of 15-50. This exercise works your lower abdominals.
While keeping your legs locked straight in front of you, this puts you in the position for the reach-up. With your back flat on the floor, extend your arms in front of you, now imagine you are trying to touch your feet. You will crunch up trying to touch your feet, hold this position for a few seconds, and then return to the starting position. For this exercise you should do 5 sets of 15-50. The reach-up works your upper abdominals.
Roll over onto your stomach and extend your arms straight, placing yourself into the push-up position. This is the starting position for the mountain climber. Keeping your arms fully extended, and back straight, keeping your buttocks in line with your body. You’re going to bring your right knee up to the left side of your chest, return it to starting, and then your left knee will raise to the right side of your chest. This should be a fluid and quick motion, switching from right to left rapidly. This is a continuous exercise that should be 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. This exercise targets your abdominals and your obliques.
After the mountain climber, you’ll go into the plank. The starting point is on your stomach, with your forearms on the floor, from this point you will raise your body to the plank position. This position is similar to the push-up, but instead of supporting your body with your hands, you’ll support your body with your forearms, this will create a right angle with your arm. Your buttocks should be in line with your body, everything should be straight, think of yourself as a board of wood. This exercise should be 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. The plank targets your upper and lower abdominals, you will definitely feel the burn in 20 seconds.
After running and 6 additional abdominal exercises, you will achieve the results you desire! Be careful to avoid any abdominal routines that bend at the waist, although it is an effective technique, it will make your hips look wider, and that is something you do NOT want! Like any other workout routine, combining with proper nutrition and sleep habits, and you will quickly see the inches fall off and the fat burn off! Preparation paired with discipline and determination always equal success!