One of the surest signs of good fitness in a person is the presence of six pack abs. The look is a bit difficult to achieve, and requires a strict combination of great nutrition and focused exercises. While looking for the best ab exercises for yourself, what do you need to be aware of when considering a specific exercise? Well, this is exactly where the following questions come in handy.
Question #1: Does This Particular Exercise Work?
Men’s Health magazine features exercises all the time that they claim will give you six pack abs. Truthfully, some do and some don’t; they all will help some people, but everyone is different, and what works for one may not be as effective for another. Ultimately, the only true test is to perform the exercise for a length of time and see if it gives you the results you are after. Be wary of any product or program claims that promise overnight results. Slow and steady wins the race every time. Sit-ups are ok, but try crunches; in particular combine a crunch with a bicycle pedal motion with your legs at a forty five degree angle. This combination builds muscle and is aerobic at the same time.
Question #2: Is The Exercise Something You Can See Yourself Sticking With?
Again, most ab exercises are effective for some and not for others. If you find a certain exercise is causing pain, or simply doesn’t seem to be working no matter what you do, chances are it is not among the best ab exercises for you and you simply shouldn’t stick with it. After all, you don’t want to get discouraged and give up on your entire ab routine because a singular exercise isn’t working. Also, does an exercise require a piece of equipment you or your gym don’t have; if not are you willing to shell out cash for it? Again, crunches are great overall exercises for developing and strengthening your abs; they don’t require special equipment, and you can do them at home in front of the TV to keep the boredom level at a minimum.
Question #3: Is The Exercise Gender Specific?
Men and women have different percentages of body fat, and will lose fat and build muscle at different rates. Also, whether or not a woman has given birth or not will be a determining factor in ab work. Therefore, there are exercises that are better for men and vice versa. There are ab exercises that are good for both men and women. Crunches, for example, are one of the best ab exercises out there, and adding them to your workout regardless of gender is highly recommended.
Question #4: Are Your Ab Exercises Working Your Entire Abdominal Region?
The best ab exercises tend to strengthen your entire core as well as your abdominal region. While traditional sit-ups have been the favorite for years, it is now known that they simply don’t provide an entire ab workout. Sit-ups can be made more effective by changing them a bit. For example, perform them on a fitness ball. In addition, many exercises focusing on the abs alone can put stress and strain on the lower back and spine. An example utilizes dumbbells in this manner: start in pushup position. Have your hands on two dumbbells. Pull the dumbbells up one arm at a time. This exercise will work your entire core instead of simply working the abs.
Question #5: How Long To See Results?
Have others used a particular exercise and seen good results, but warned that it may take a while to see the good results? This is good to know, so you don’t give up too early on an exercise that may yield great results. Conversely, you don’t want to waste a lot of time on something that just isn’t going to work. A great low impact ab exercise that may work slowly is to sit on a chair and raise your feet off of the floor. Hold them as high as you can for one second, and then slowly bring them back down. Try this exercise for five sets of three reps.
The quest for the best ab exercises may take a bit of trial and error. Once you find the optimum exercises for your particular body type though, commitment and determination to your routine in addition to a good nutrition program will give you the results you are looking for, namely a solid core and much sought after six pack abs!