Everyone admires them. Everyone wants them. Everyone can have them …if they really want them. I’m talking about smokin’ hot abs.
When people talk about the hottest celebrity bodies, they show bikini shots & shirtless guys showing off their abs. You rarely see a magazine talking about how great someone’s back is, or how amazing their quads look. No, they are talking about six-packs. And although so many people wish they had them, ironically, many people don’t work them. Here are a few reasons why I believe abdominal exercises get left off the exercise check list.
5 Reasons Abs Get Neglected
1. Not enough motivation. Let’s face it, the “out of sight out of mind” mentality, oftentimes, is the driving force for what gets attention in the gym and what doesn’t. Unless you live by the water or have a pool, you probably aren’t exposing your midsection that often. So, your emphasis is improving the body parts people see the most of, like your arms, legs and butt (because a good or bad butt shows through clothes!). Then you plan a cruise or a vacation that requires swimwear and you freak because you realize just how much you’ve neglected your tummy.
2. You can’t see your abs through your fat. If you are carrying extra weight you probably can’t see your abdominal muscles. And the truth is, you can do abs until your blue in the face and you’ll never see your abs if you don’t lose the layer of fat covering them. However, you can still work them and help tighten your midsection so your stomach muscles stay tight and your core is more fit. Weak abdominal muscles allow your organs to push your stomach wall out, causing you to look even heavier than you are. So, if you can keep those abs tone, you can keep your tummy flatter.
3. Ab exercises suck. I’m sorry for the yucky word, but honestly, there is no other word for it that truly captures the pain of a brutal ab workout. Not only do they burn like mad, they literally suck the living life out of you (your breath). Since you want to minimize space in your gut while working the abs, you can only take shallow breaths. And, unlike working an isolated muscle group like biceps, abdominals are a huge muscle group and require a lot of work. The end result is they wipe you out – and you have to keep doing that over and over for days, weeks, months and sometimes years before you see the first ice cube in your six pack.
4. You like food too much. Let’s be honest here, having abs means being lean. If you love food more than you love the idea of having abs, you will never see your abs. Kelly Ripa and Kiera Knightley are prime examples of this. It’s not that they have huge abs like LL Cool J, they are just super lean. If they were holding more body fat, you wouldn’t see their abs as well as you do. However, that’s also a bit of good news too because that means you don’t have to primarily rely on a insane ab exercises to develop abs. If you diet down, you will start seeing what you already have – and I promise, you have abdominal muscles.
5. You don’t know how to work them. If you are a member of a gym, there may be 20 machines to work chest and only one or two to work the abdominals. Your abs don’t require machinery to work them effectively. Since some of the best ab exercises are done with minimal equipment, it’s up to you to learn all the ways to work them, using nothing more than a yoga mat and maybe some sort of weight. (see below!)
I admit, one of my weakest areas is my abs. I too fall victim to the above reasons why I don’t work harder on my abs and I hope to make improvements. My challenge to you is this. Purposefully schedule ab exercises in your weekly workout routine. Non-weighted crunches can be done daily. Weighted ab exercises should allow a couple of days for rest just like regular weight training. Stick with it and you will see and feel an incredible difference!
10 Ways to Crunch Your Abs into Shape
If you thought there was only one way to do a crunch, think again! Here are 10 variations that are phenomenal for sculpting your midsection. Click on the exercise to preview a demonstration video so you can give it a try yourself!
2. Bicycle Crunch
3. Bar Crunch
4. Weighted Crunch
5. Kettlebell Crunch
6. Crunch And Punch
7. Snowboarder Crunch
8. Incline Reverse Crunch
9. Take It Or Leave It Abdominal Crunch
10. Resistance Band Kneeling Crunch
Learn more incredible exercises at www.FitStudio.com
Not sure if you are doing crunches right? Here are some tips:
I think people over-think certain exercises – especially abs. Everyone’s looking for a new abdominal exercise to fixed the midsection, but half the time they aren’t even doing the basic exercises correctly, or they’re not doing them often enough to really make a difference.
Rounded back, legs up, relaxing abs between reps, pulling neck forward, & holding too much air while repping out a bunch of crunches are just a few mistakes people make all the time.
Steve Pfiester shares some foundational principles on how to get the most out of the mother of all abdominal exercises: The Crunch. He’ll teach you what to do – and what not to do. Whether you want LL Cool J abs or Jillian Michaels – you have to do them right to really work.
Read Steve’s Blog: Get Perfect Abs
Check it out – and apply the tips during your next ab workout! And don’t forget to subscribe to both of our blogs for all of our tips and news!
FEEDBACK: Who’s Got the Best Abs?
After you learn how to get the abs of your dreams, check out what celebrities made Wet Pain’s Best Abs in Hollywood list. Do you agree or disagree? Would you rather have Jennifer Aniston’s abs or Monica Brant or T.O.? Who’s abs make you drool?
Steve’s Blog: Get Perfect Abs
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When I searched for candid photos of female celebrities who had great abs, I came up pretty empty handed. However, the one female star that really stole the google image show was Gwen Stefani, and deservingly so.
The truth is, everyone has abs – it’s just whether we see them or not. The leaner you are and the more developed they are, the more visible they are. Aside from diet, the problem is many people are limited when it comes to knowing a lot of ab exercises. If you are working on getting Gwen Stefani abs by bikini season, then maybe it’s time to freshen up your abs hit list!
If you were Steve Pfiester‘s client, here are a few of the exercises he’d likely have you doing.
3. Bicycle Crunch
4. Vertical Leg Crunch
5. Oblique Crunch
6. Reverse Crunch
7. Side V-up
8. Hanging Knee-ups
9. Snow Angels
10. Crunch & Punch
11. Take it or Leave it
13. Pulse Side Plank
15. Alternating Hand Foot Plank Lift Off
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