Ahh stomach, that stomach..such a tricky area. Hard to fit it in with the workout and especially in the winter months when there is really no point, nobody’s gunna see it really are they? And then BOOM! you look like a bloated sloth! How did it get away from you? WELL NOW THE SUN’S OUT! SHIIIIYYTTTTT!!
Being a skinny guy, or an endomorph, as its known in fitness circles, any weight I do manage to put on seems to stay in the belly area, never on my arms or by bird like ankles. I would kill to be able to put and girth on my ankles, I really would! Such a curse!
Now I will say, if you aren’t doing the right things in the kitchen then your appearance will never be what you want it to be, You can do all the exercises in the world and yes, the muscle will build up on your abs, but nobody will see it. Keeping the fat on above the muscles can actually make you like even more alien as the abs wont show through, just a further pronounced slab of belly fat. Mmm belly fat.
I am going to go into diet and how I went about loosing my extra stomach insulation using diet and exercise in another post. There isn’t a quick fix for this, it takes devotion in the kitchen and commitment to exercise, but who know’s, you may really enjoy it and may push you on to further your targets and reach the peak you!
To zee exercises!!!!
Okay, So I am going to show you my 5 favorite stomach exercises, aimed to hit different points in your torso so to give you definition,all required if your going to get those “washboard abs” we all hear about and assume are photo shopped on most people these days!
1. Crunches 4 x 20 reps
Crunches are great. Really try to crunch towards the end when reaching your knee’s, one mistake people make is not getting the technique right. When you are on the way up and get to about 50, really push down into your stomach as you fold, you will feel a burn in your abs this way and hit the specific muscle 10 times better. You will feel it, and you will feel the difference!
I find this exercise can be made even better by using a 10kg medicine ball, tucked into your chest and on the way back down, at about 20 degrees, hold yourself there for 10 seconds at the end of each set, your body will shake and you will start to sweat your tits off, but god damn its a fantastic burn! The perfect exercise for your upper and lower ab’s.
2. Sitting Twists 4 x 20 reps
Now to hit the obliques, these always bring a huge ache with them so take it easy if its your first time or you haven’t done a stomach workout in a while, if you have to stop mid set, do, but always finish the set, no room for cheating if you want those defined lines down to those hips! always look’s great!
Make sure your are using the correct technique by concentrating on twisting using your stomach, not your shoulders. I have done this before and wondered why I wasn’t feeling a burn, it was because my shoulders were giving the impression I was twisting more. Just stop and think about it, what part is working? focus on the movement and you will get it.
Again add in the medicine ball at higher weight to give extra resistance, gets a bit intense after a few sets, but you can do it. remember to touch the ground each time using the full range of motion, and try not to get sweat in your eye.
3. Heel Taps 4 x 50 reps
This is a new one for me! I’ve been doing it a few weeks and love it! You really do feel this one, after 25 your like, this is easy and then by 40 oooofff! You really do feel this one guys, you really do.
It has to be done with the RIGHT technique though, your shoulders and upper back off the floor and feet in a position where you are not overstretching, but can feel you are using your full range of motion in your obliques to tap the back of your sneakers every time. Take your time to get this right and it will be a staple exercise for you.
Its very important to get the right technique here again, make sure you aren’t stretching with your shoulders and arms, your stomach should be doing the work. each time you should feel the gap between your ribs and your hip bone coming together and then separating when you straighten up again. Practice makes perfect here guys.
4. Dumbbell side bend 4 x 20 reps
Another one I was introduced to by a personal trainer who helped me perfect it. Again its all about technique with this one. Feet shoulder width apart, start stood as straight and tall as possible as if someone has a string attached to your head and is pulling you up. Then if the weight is in your right hand, using your obliques stretch down to the left side and then all the way over to the right side, using your gap between your ribs and hip as a guide.
This one will take practice but you will know when you are doing it right. Avoid using your shoulders to reach down by all means, its all about using the muscles on the side of your body. Check yourself in the mirror, its not admiring yourself so your good to go. Use your full range of motion and after your first set you will start to get the sweats. Enjoy it!
I tend to find it easier using a weight disk as I find it less restrictive. If the dumbbell feels weird, give it a go!
5. Ab crunch using angled bench 4 x 20 reps
To finish off this workout we go back to the upper and lower abs, finish it with a blast! By now you should be getting all types of muscles tiredness from every part of your stomach, this will seal the deal!
Concentrate on really engaging your core here, all the way from your back and head being fully flat on the bench and up to your elbows touching your knees. Ensure you put extra emphasis on the crunch right at the end of each rep to get the most burn you can and you will feel the results from the first rep, really push into with your upper abs.
If you feel you have anything left in the tank, as we did with the crunches before, add a weight into your workout and again as you come back down, hold yourself just off the bench for a good ten seconds, concentrating on putting all the weight into your abs.
Follow these as your staple workouts and you will see results in no time!
I hope you enjoyed this and if there is anything you want me to try, let me know!