Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to Choose Ab Workouts that Really Work

By Bojen Makhob

If you're wondering which ab workouts really get the job done, don't worry, lots of other people are trying to figure this out too. Sadly, there isn't a single exercise that works best for all people. The secret to real success is to regularly do a variety of exercises that will work out your whole body. There are, of course, some very specific workouts that are really good for your abs and you need to make sure to include them if this is a part of your body that you really want to work on. We'll look at a few of them in this article.

Jumping rope, when you do it right, is a highly intense workout for all of your body but especially for your abs. While most think jumping rope is just for kids, boxers in training also do it quite a lot as well. Boxing is a sport that requires a great deal of endurance and many boxers also must lose weight to compete in a certain weight class, and jumping rope is a very helpful and simple exercise for these goals. If you try it, you'll be surprised at how tired you get and how sore your muscles are at first. This is not a reason to quit doing it, it is just evidence that you are seriously working your entire body and, if you keep at it, it's also a fantastic workout. You already know that crunches are effective for working the abs and, if you do them on a medicine ball, you'll have better results because you will greatly enhance your range of movement. Medicine balls are weighted balls that are around the same size as a soccer ball and you usually see them in gyms and they shouldn't be confused with bigger stability balls (which can also be very useful). Plank exercises are also good when done on medicine balls (put your hands on the ball and hold your body up in a push up position). To increase the level of challenge for this exercise, do leg lifts while you perform your planks. If you aren't familiar with these exercises, though, practice them on mats before you do them on medicine balls.

Sit-ups are usually known as the best workout for the abs but they are also the most hated. The biggest problem with sit-ups is the number of them that you have to do to get the results you want. A far better choice today is to use the machine that makes the movement more efficient. You can use a lot of different kinds of machines that will imitate the sit up motion for you but that will give you better support and improve your range of motion which makes this particular exercise a lot more effective and a lot safer. One type of machine is called an "ab chair" but you have other options too. These machines will give you the same effect after five minutes that you would have gotten after a much longer period of grueling traditionally done sit ups.

While there are lots of different kinds of ab workouts, the muscles that get targeted are the same.

Aside from regularly exercising your abs, you need to make sure you do a fair amount of cardiovascular and resistance training to keep the rest of your body healthy as well. If you keep working and realize that it takes time to get real results, you can get a lot of benefit from doing the ab workouts we've talked about in this article. As long as you make the most from every workout, you will see real changes.

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