5 Intense Workouts For The Abs And Core

The core is one of our biggest assets in stability, balance and it provides a plethora of health benefits. It is important to exercise the core and maintain it at optimal levels.

It is one thing to sweat and lose weight, but, sculpting ab muscles, and strengthening the abs and core requires specific exercises that need to be done on a consistent basis.

Below are some of the best workouts that primarily target these areas.

For best results, you can combine them with high-intensity interval training programs, like HIIT or Tabata for a huge boost in fat burning that will help to reveal those gorgeous muscles that you these exercise create.

Feet Elevated Russian Twist

This workout involves a rotational exercise that helps strengthen your abdominal muscles, particularly the obliques. It also helps strengthen the hips and the lower back muscles.

Steps:

1. Sit on the floor.
2. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
3. Lift your feet a few inches from the floor and hold them as you move.
4. With your palms together, position your arms straight in front of your chest, leaning back at a 45-degree angle.
5. Rotate your torso to the left and to the right.

Medicine Ball Leg Raises

This mild, aerobic exercise is ideal for building core strength and toning up the abdominal muscles, particularly the muscles in the lower region. You can perform the exercise two to three days a week.

Steps:

1. Lie down on the floor, with your face up.
2. With a medicine ball in both hands, stretch your arms behind your head.
3. Exhale and crunch upwards, raising your arms and legs together above your stomach.
4. Position the medicine ball slowly in between your feet and move your body back to the starting position, leaving your legs raised several inches above the ground.
5. Crunch back up to grab the ball from between your feet.
6. Repeat until you have completed the sets required for your routine.

Press Sit-Ups

An extremely challenging exercise, press sit-ups combine bench presses and sit-ups into one intense activity, and when done correctly, results in stronger arms, chest, shoulders, and firmer abs. For this workout, you will need a barbell and a decline bench.

Steps:

1. Do some dynamic stretches and warm up for about five to ten minutes of light, aerobic exercise.
2. On a decline bench, lie facing up with your knees at the top bend and your ankles secured behind the ankle pads.
3. With an overhand grip, hold a barbell, allowing the weight to rest on your upper chest while your hands are spread wide apart.
4. Inhale and tighten your core muscles while you move to a sitting position.
5. Exhale and raise the barbell straight over your head, making sure your arms are well extended above your head and your upper body perpendicular to the floor.
6. Inhale as you return the barbell to your chest and lower yourself back to the starting position.

Reverse Crunches

Crunches are one of the most common exercises for the abs and core. The reverse crunch, in particular targets the rectus abdominis muscle. To perform this exercise effectively, lift your hips only a few inches from the floor and avoid swinging the legs while raising the hips.

Steps:

1. Lie on the floor with your palms down.
2. Bend your knees towards your chest on a 90-degree angle with your feet held together.
3. Lift your hips off the floor, crunching them inwards while you contract your abs. Point your legs up towards the ceiling.
4. Lower your legs slowly until your feet are flat on the floor.

General Side Plank

This exercise is ideal for beginners and doesn’t require any special equipment. It improves stability of the spine and strengthen the core muscles, specifically the obliques.

Steps:

1. Lie on your one side with your legs fully extended.
2. Prop your body up using your elbow and forearm, your elbows positioned under your shoulder.
3. Contract your abs and raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to ankles.
4. Breathe deeply while holding yourself in this position for a few seconds.
5. Turn around and repeat on the other side.

Now Go Work Those Abs!