Most people train abs to try and reveal the 6-pack underneath. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, and depends on factors such as age, genetics, and body composition.
However, I believe that core training should be included in your program for a few reasons:
1. It can help improve posture.
2. It can strengthen your core, improving form and strength in other big lifts.
3. Like any other muscle, they can grow. So, if you are able to see them, they are less flat and more defined.
As these are my favourite exercises, they might not work for you and your goals. Feel free to try them out and add them to your weekly routine.
Fit-ball weighted crunch
Sounds a bit funny, but this is great for reason number 3. as you can progressively overload your Rectus Abdominus a.k.a ‘6-pack’.
To set up: Sit on a fit-ball and roll back by walking your feet forward, so your lower back is supporting you on the ball. Keep your feet firmly planted to prevent falling off. Add weight or use body weight and crunch up, not using momentum between reps.
Great for posture and strength. I love how there are so many different ways to do this to make it more challenging or easier. Planks can be done anywhere at any time, and engage all four major muscle groups of your midsection.
To set up: Kneel on the ground with your arms on the floor beneath your shoulders. Step your legs back until your body is off the ground in a straight line. Avoid arching your back or craning your neck.
Standing trunk rotations
This move strengthens your obliques, deep core muscles, and the little stabiliser muscles.
To set up: Hold a fit ball, weight-plate, or dumbbell, while standing with feet hip width apart. Lock your arms so your elbows are slightly bent. Move arms and torso so the object your holding travels from hip to hip in a an arch. Focus on keeping hips facing forward.
Hanging leg raises
If crunches hurt your back, this is a great alternative. It strengthens your Rectus Abdominus, but if you throw in a twist at the top, it will hit the Obliques too.
To set up: Either holding onto a chin up bar, or resting forearms on the padding of a hanging leg raise machine, raise knees up to chest. To make it more challenging, add a twist so knees are moving to the left of the body then the right of the body, or straighten legs and raise feet to chest height.
Saved the most difficult one to last. It uses all four of the major core muscles to complete, and can be varied in intensity depending on how far you stretch out.
To set up: Kneel on the ground with the Wheel in your hands. Keep feet together, not crossed. Roll arms forward and lower trunk as far down as desired. Then using your core, raise your body back up to the starting position.
Give these a try by incorporating a few sets and of one exercise at the end of your workout.