Sculpting Male Abs at Home
The Benefits of Ab Workouts
Six-pack abs look very attractive. Besides, the strong muscles of the core provide support to the spine. For this reason, many coaches recommend to begin strength training with ab and back exercises.
If your core muscles are weak, you may have spinal problems when working with heavy weights. Well-developed core muscles can help you avoid such problems. Of course, first and foremost, you should work out your back, but having strong abs is also a great benefit.
If you want to build sexy six-pack abs, you don’t need to buy a gym membership and use various exercise machines. Moreover, the best and most effective abdominal exercises do not require any special equipment. A flat surface and a great desire are all you need.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) ordered studies to determine the most effective ways to build abs in a wide variety of popular workout methods. At the Biomechanics Laboratory in Sacramento, California, Peter Francis and Jennifer Davis have discovered the most beneficial exercises that yield higher muscle activation compared to the traditional abdominal crunches.
30 healthy men and women aged 20–45 years who worked out regularly or occasionally, took part in the experiment. The abdominal loads were distributed among the subjects in random order.
In total, 13 exercises were investigated. The researchers measured the electrical activity of the muscle fibers by using electromyography during each exercise. The impact of the loads was recorded for the abdominal rectus muscle and oblique muscles separately. Also, the level of the attendant tension in the thigh muscles was registered. The effectiveness of various abdominal exercises was evaluated in comparison to the traditional crunches that were assumed as a measurement basis (100% load).
|Exercises for rectus abdominis muscle||Effectiveness (compared to the traditional crunch)|
|1.||Bicycle Crunch||148% higher muscle activation|
|2.||Captain’s Chair Crunch||112%|
|3.||Exercise Ball Crunch||39%|
|4.||Leg Up Crunches||29%|
|5.||Torso Track Exercise||27%|
|6.||Arms Up Crunch (V Crunches)||19%|
|8.||Sit-Ups (with the knees bent and heels flat on the floor)||7%|
The exercises such as Ab Rope Crunch and Ab Rocker were not included in the table, because they elicited lower muscle activation than the traditional crunch.
|Exercises for oblique abdominal muscles||Effectiveness|
|1.||Captain’s Chair Crunch||210% higher muscle activation|
|5.||Leg Up Crunches||116%|
|6.||Exercise Ball Crunch||47%|
|7.||Torso Track Exercise||45%|
|8.||Sit-Ups (with the knees bent and heels flat on the floor)||26%|
|9.||Arms Up Crunch (V Crunches)||18%|
The study revealed that Ab Rope Crunch and Ab Rocker exercises were less effective than the traditional crunch. Therefore, they were not included into the table.
Electromyographic analysis of abdominal muscle activity confirmed that every individual performs the exercises differently. The same exercise is not equally beneficial for all subjects. Therefore, for better workout results, the conductors of the study recommend to select a few top exercises, test them on yourself, and decide which exercises activate your abdominal muscles better and should be incorporated into your exercise routine.
Collection of Exercises for Beginners
It is the most popular abdominal exercise, but most people perform it improperly.
You need to lie down on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You can place your hands on your chest or underneath your head.
On the inhale, contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about a few inches off the floor, trying to bring your chest toward the pelvis. Exhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
Most of those trying to perform this exercise make a common mistake, doing it with a straight back, instead of curling the torso. You should avoid such a mistake.
Unlike the previous exercise, reverse crunches target mainly the lower abs. You should lie down on your back with your legs fully extended and arms beside your body.
Move your legs up as you inhale and curl your hips off the floor and into your chest. Pause in this position for 1–2 counts. While exhaling, slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.
Despite the fact that most athletes consider this exercise female, it is perfect for men, because it works the abdominal muscles very well.
The starting position is lying on your back with your legs extended on the floor. Lift your legs up about a few inches off the ground and start to perform movements that resemble the work of scissors: extend your legs out to the sides and bring them back crossing your right leg over the left.
Then, extend them to the sides again and bring them together crossing your left leg over the right. Perform 3–5 sets.
Collection for Athletes
The starting position is lying on your back with your arms fully extended back behind your head. Contract your abs whilst simultaneously raising your arms and legs and bringing them together. Pause in this position for 1–2 counts and return to the starting position.
The starting position is lying flat on the floor back down with your arms extended alongside your body. Raise your straight legs up to an angle of 90–45 degrees and then lower them down as slowly as you can.
Modified Pelvic Raises
The starting position is lying on your back with your left knee bent and foot flat on the ground. Place your right ankle against the left thigh and start to lift your pelvis off the floor.
Pull-Up Bar Crunches
The starting position is hanging from a pull-up bar with your hands in an overhand grip (palms facing down). As you exhale, raise your straight legs up toward the ceiling, using your core to control the movement, and hold this position for 1–3 seconds.
Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position as you inhale.
It is worth mentioning the plank exercise. The plank is a static exercise for strengthening the core that works not only the back muscles, but also the abdominals.
There are different plank variations. The basic variation is performed by lying face down on the floor in a push-up position, with your weight balanced on your toes and hands (beginners can place their forearms on the floor).
The plank cannot help you build a six-pack, but it can help you tighten your belly. As a result, your stomach will look much more toned and attractive.
The plank should be incorporated into your workout plan along with the above-mentioned abdominal exercises.
How to Carve Out Six-Pack Abs?
Despite popular belief, getting a six-pack requires not only exercising. The above-mentioned exercises allow you to work your rectus abdominis. However, this muscle will be still hidden under a layer of fat that is stored primarily in the abdominal area.
Eliminating these fat deposits is a difficult task. To achieve success, you need to combine a healthy diet with regular fat-burning workouts.
If you want to get ripped and lose belly fat, high-protein foods (meat and fish), vegetables, and grains are a perfect basis for your daily diet. You should cut fast-digesting carbohydrates, high-glycemic index foods, and fatty products, such as cakes, sweets, sausages, etc. out of your diet.
Leading an active lifestyle can help you increase energy expenditure. Also, for faster results, you should incorporate fat-burning workouts into your training program.
Traditionally, cardio workouts are recommended as the best way to burn excess fat. At the gym, you can use any cardiovascular exercise machine, such as the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, or any other.
Also, there are some at-home cardio exercises that do not require any special sports equipment.
Regular abdominal exercises and fat-burning workouts along with a healthy diet will surely help you get your desired tight six-pack abs.
The main thing is persistence that can help you follow all the tips provided in this article month by month for many years.
We bring to your attention the following video: