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Abdominal Exercises

Abdominal Exercises

Everyone wants great abdominals. The question on every one's mind is how to get them, quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly. The obvious answer is a great abdominal training routine and eating healthier. Now rather than continually saying the obvious let's lay out a plan that will actually get you those abdominals you want, and perhaps, need.

When I said "everyone wants great abdominals" I certainly generalized, but I think it is a safe generalization, I mean, who wouldn't want to be in shape, if not for looks, for health? Let's first list some reasons why a lot of people desire great abdominals but never achieve them.

Firstly, abs do not surface by accident. As much as those many infomercials would like you to believe, you cannot, I repeat, cannot get abs simply by using their machines for 5 minutes a day. Abs are hard work.

Secondly, abs require more than just the physical labour. It can be, very much so, a mental workout. Like all areas of training, they require a clear mind with a great focus, and determination, towards the goal.

Thirdly, as no surprise to anyone who's read about dieting, your diet will play a large role in your quest for perfect abs. What good is buying a weight bench if you do not have any weights? Similarly, what good is working out your abdominals if you have no intent on revealing them; of course by lowing body fat?

Lastly, persistence. Many people start out with good intentions of one day having great abs. Even with the most well executed abdominal fitness plan, time above anything else, proves to be crucial. You can eat right and obsess over your workouts, but if your follow through proves only to be one week in length, you can write off any major changes.

Some people may disagree with the last point. Some people will say that they can drop twenty pounds in one week and have great, breakthrough, abs. Our goal here is to safely drop weight and become more healthy, while achieving great abdominals. The end does not justify the means, rather, let's focus on a healthy approach to get where we want to be.

Abdominal Exercises

There are many abdominal exercises out there for all of us to explore. The first, and undoubtedly the most popular, is the standard crunch. Lay on a flat surface with your back on the ground and your knees bent. Lift your shoulders off of the ground while flexing your abdominals. Lower your back to the ground in a controlled motion. Optional: Place hands behind head to steady neck while lifting your shoulders off of the ground. That's it. That's all there is to it. The crunch is rather simple, although there are many variations, the basic principals remain the same.

Next let's discuss the reverse crunch. The reverse crunch is also quite
simple. Lay on your back with your legs bent and lifted into the air. Bring your legs toward your head while lifting your hips off of the ground slightly, at which time, flex your abs and lower your hips to the floor, simple right?

Lately there has been much more talk about fitness balls. These large balls that you can lay on while doing various abdominal exercises have proven to be quite effective. Your local gym has likely had one for many years but no one ever used it. I know at my gym (which is more of just a small room with weights) abdominal exercises balls were never used, although available. Now that seems to be a thing of the past. The way you approach working out on these "abdominal balls" is very similar to the basic movements, however you are off the ground and, arguably, getting a better concentration on your abdominals. Try it out and you will quickly get a feel for it.

The Abdominal Diet

I will not lay out a specific plan here for your abdominal diet. Frankly it isn’t necessary as you can use your existing diet and alter it to achieve your new goals. Basically the secret to an abdominal diet (and to most fitness diets) is eating the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Your first thought would probably be to just lower your fat intake. This is only partially true as fat isn’t the only key measurable in your diet. You must strike a good balance between all three in order to maximize results. To make this diet as simple as possible, and to stay with the theme of this article (keeping it simple), you should avoid any unnecessary fats, while also lowering your carbohydrate intake. Something that has helped me, and many others, is to set a time when you must stop eating carbohydrates before sleep. Some people will recommend 7pm, others may say 6pm. Either case will suffice and that small choice can be made individually.


Well now you know all of the basics of building rock hard abdominals. It wasn’t so difficult now was it? I know you’ll thank me when you’re on the beach this summer waiving to the people who walk by admiring your abs.

A quick recap:

Achieving Abs is hard work
Not only physically, but abdominals get be mentally exhausting
Diet is key factor in your success or failure
Perseverance is the ticket to washboard abs
Shortcuts, such as extreme dieting, will result in failure
Crunches are a great way to work the abdominals hard (with or without a fitness ball)
Lower overall calories and cut unnecessary fat
Cut carbohydrates before sleep

Good Luck and Happy Training,
Brad Belanger

Written by: Brad Belanger
Brought to you by Natural Muscle .CA

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Article Written by: Brad Belanger
Brought to you by Natural Muscle .CA

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