Everybody wants a nice core. Having a toned abdomen is something most people strive for in the gym. But are you working these muscles properly? And are you getting the most out of your core workouts? Here are the top 5 ways of working your abs efficiently and maximizing results
- Proper breathing – one of the common mistakes people make when working their core is holding there breath and/ or breathing too quickly. The action of the inner core is actually exhaling. This means when doing core exercises, you should focus on long exhalations for greater stimulation. For example, when holding a plank inhale for 2-3 seconds and exhale for 6-8 seconds or more. You will undoubtedly feel the abs trembling more because they will be working more! For an added bonus, you can try doing a hissing, or tissing sound when exhaling. This will push your tongue towards your teeth and contract the deep layer even more. As a side note, when doing dynamic core exercises, breath at a regular rate of 1:1 inhaling: exhaling.
- Variety of exercises – when it comes to working the core muscles, you do not want to stick with just one form of exercising, like crunches, for example. We suggest doing a combination of core stabilization like planks (with longer exhaling of course), twisting motions (like bicycle crunches, side plank twists, band, and cable twists), and dynamic ab stabilization exercises (like kettlebell or dumbbell swings, wheel rollouts, burpees, etc.). This will work your core from all angles. Remember, you are also using your core muscles when you do overhead shoulder press, single-arm dumbbell rows, deadlifts, squats, and more so don’t forget these exercises.
- Circuits – if you want to make those, abs work, you need to put them to work! We suggest doing circuits of 2-4 exercises back to back for the best burn. Try combining the styles mentioned above together for the best burn out. For example, a dumbbell swing followed by a bike crunch followed by a long plank.
- HITT training – if you want to see those abs you got to make that fat sweat. Research shows that HITT training is the best for melting fat. For a supercharged effect add HITT training before or after your core routine
- Nutrition – they say abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. Which means nutrition is key. Stick to a high protein diet with carbs before and after your workout routine. Remember carbs give you the energy to work out hard so don’t forget about them! Follow the ShesTough nutrition plan for guidance on this!