The great Indian summer is here, and how! Which means the lesser and lighter we wear the better. But with those stubborn layers of tummy fat, can you dare to?
Most people shy away from abs workouts because the fat doesn’t seem to go, no matter what. However, an abs workout is a must, and not just because you can bare your midriff.
Here are 5 reasons why you should warm up to abs exercises and the top 5 exercises that will help you achieve that taut tummy:
To strengthen your core
According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2011, abdominal muscle exercises are known to increase strength and endurance of abdominal muscles. This makes you not just slimmer but also stronger.
We know crunches are painful and boring! But they work. Combine a few types of crunches, such as bicycle crunches or those on a ball, to add a little fun to your workout.
To gain a stronger trunk
One of the main jobs of the abdominal or core muscles is to act as stabilisers for the trunk, providing support while aa person is squatting, lifting or moving about in general. Studies show that muscle fibre activation rates in the rectus abdominals, transverse abdominals, and internal and external obliques go higher during squats.
Try The Barbell Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the barbell on the back of your shoulders. Lower your body towards the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Push through your heels to return to start position.
To torch calories
One burns a lot of calories – as many as 200 during a 15-minute workout – since the body is moving quickly in a workout that targets the abs such as a kickboxing-based workout.
Stand with feet spread apart, knees bent and arms up on the guard. Quickly lean your upper body to the right, then come back through the center and lean to the left. Repeat in the other direction.
To make your body more flexible
Experts say healthy and strong abs are able to resist external forces, flex, extend and rotate the body. You gain higher flexibility, which can be great for summers as one tends to do more outdoor activities.
Get in a plank position with a towel placed under each ball of your foot, legs together. Bring your left knee in towards the right side of your chest, squeezing your abs. Straighten your right leg back out to full plank and repeat with the other leg. Next, draw both knees into your chest together and then slide your legs back out to full plank.
To get a better posture
Working on your abs will help with spinal articulation and strengthening, physical training instructors say.
Lie down with a small ball under your heels, both arms extended over your head and palms facing towards each other. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor and continue to roll up by drawing in your abdominals, reaching up towards the feet. Keep your abdomen contracted and slowly roll down in a controlled movement.