Many bodybuilders work their abdominal muscles to get washboard abs. Far important from the image, however, is the importance of having a strong core. The abdominal muscle makes up a large part of the body’s core strength. Athletes know and appreciate the importance of having a strong core. Professional bodybuilders workout to strengthen their body’s core and that includes exercising the abdominal muscles.
Listed below are some of the simplest abdominal exercises that can have the most profound effects on the abdominal muscles. Most of these exercises can be done at home.
#1.- Reverse Crunch
This is similar to the vertical crunch but lifting off the hips rather than the shoulders. This exercise works the rectus abdominis muscle. Equipment needed is an exercise mat. Starting position is to lie face up on the mat with hands on the floor or behind the head. Bring the knees toward the chest until bent to 90 degrees with the feet together or crossed. Contract the abs, lifting the hips off the floor while doing so. The legs reach upwards to the ceiling. Lower back down and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 16 repetitions. The bodybuilder will feel tension or stress on the lower part of the abs.
#2.- The Bicycle
The bicycle works the rectus abdominis and the obliques of the abdomen. An exercise mat is needed for this exercise. Starting position is lying face up on the mat, place hands over the head, using fingers for light support. Bring knees to the chest and without pulling the neck lift the shoulder blades off the mat. Rotate to each side, bringing opposite elbow to opposite knee (left elbow to right knee) while the other leg is straightened. Switch sides until a pedaling motion is achieved. This exercise helps develop washboard abs and trims the waist. This can be done in 1-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions.
#3.- The Ball Crunch
The Ball Crunch is a fun activity that targets the “six pack” or the rectus abdominis muscle. Equipment needed is a large exercise ball. Starting position is to lie on the ball, placing the ball just on the lower back. Arms are crossed over the chest or placed behind the head. Contract the abs by lifting torso off the ball, pulling the bottom ribcage down toward the hips. The ball should be kept stable even as curling up. Slowly lower back down to starting position. This helps strengthen the abs and can be done in 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 16 repetitions.
#4.- The Vertical Leg Crunch
Similar to crunches, this exercise targets the rectus abdominis and obliques. It is different from the regular crunches because the legs are involved. Equipment needed is an exercise mat. Starting position is to lie with back on the mat, extending legs straight upwards with knees crossed. Place hands underneath the head for support. Contract the abs lift the shoulder blades off the mat. Keep legs in the fixed starting position and lower back down. This adds intensity to the exercise, working the muscles more. This can be done in 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 16 repetit
#5.- The Long Arm Crunch
The long arm crunch is another variation of the regular crunch and targets the upper part of the abdomen. Equipment needed is an exercise mat. Starting position is to lie facing upwards on the mat with arms straightened behind the head with the hands clasped. Arms are kept near the ears. Lift shoulder blades off the floor, contracting the abs while doing so. Keep arms straight but avoid straining the neck. Then lower back down to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 16 repetitions. This exercise adds a longer level to the regular crunch, adding difficulty and challenge.
Completing the above 5 bodybuilder workouts for your abs will help create define abdominal muscles. However to achieve the desired result it is important to make sure that you strip the fat from this area. Implementing cardio based exercises will help strip this fat and provide you with the washboard abs that you have worked so hard to achieve.
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