Relying on crunches alone to sculpt and tone your abs is a thing of the past. In order to see more abdominal definition, you’ll have to work both your upper and lower abdominal muscles by incorporating a variety of different exercises that target them together and separately.
While cardio burns fat, you can also use it to take steps to help build your core. Your cardio session might have you feeling exhausted, but you shouldn’t let that show through in your posture! Make sure that while keeping your back straight you also keep your abdominal muscles engaged so that you can help tone them during your cardio session.
These are great for your legs, glutes, back, and you guessed it, abs. You’ve heard that you’re not supposed to lift with your back, and that’s true. For this exercise you’ll need to keep your abs tight because you’ll need to use your core strength (along with your legs) to complete each lift.
Cable Upright Rows
Not only are these great for your arms and back, but they are great for your abs. You’ll need to keep them tight in order to keep your balance and posture on point as you complete each row. You’ll definitely feel these in your core as each rep goes on.
Completing a pull up, even if you’re using the assisted pull up machine, targets multiple muscle groups including your abdominal muscles. Though the muscle groups in your arms and back do a majority of the work, your core needs to give them a lot of support so that they’re not just pulling up your limp body.
You can do these using weights or without weights. I hold a weight plate to my chest while I’m completing these. When completing these exercises, keep your abdominal muscles engaged to help keep your back straight instead of rounded, and use your core strength to help bring your upper body back up into the starting position after slowly bending forward.
Wearing a waist trainer during any of your exercises that involve keeping your back straight can really help you tone your core. It’ll help serve as a reminder to keep your posture in check which is done in part by keeping your abdominal muscles tight and engaged.
Training abs can be really difficult to see sometimes because you also need to cook them up in the kitchen with healthy foods (check out a list of things to incorporate here), but by balancing your exercises and eating habits, you can and will see results!
By: Kayla Harwick