Abdominal Exercises : Ab Crunches

Looking for great abs?
The success to having great abs is performing the exercise properly and proper diet.
I will discuss how to perfrom ab crunches and how to get the most out of your abdominal workout.

great ab workout exercises

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There are so many people looking for the secrets to great abs. You see all the hype on TV infomercials. Companies peddling all types of equipment that will help you build rock hard abs and a miraculous mid section. Without spending tons of money or any money at all, I'll discuss a simple and effective way of building great looking abs. It can be done at home or at your gym.

Now we all want defined, toned abdominal muscles. Mostly to look great. A lot of men strive for a 6 pack or close to it, while most women's goal is for a tight toned mid section. Let me stress that besides the cosmetic reasons for having great looking adominals, having a firm and toned mid section has many other benefits. You'll ease any extra stress a belly or extra weight puts on your back, improve your posture, increase your stamina and endurance because you are not carrying any extra weight and improve your self esteem. You'll feel even better about yourself and what you have accomplished. Anyway, this is pretty basic knowledge, but it is good to reflect on why you want to have solid great looking abs.

To develop solid abs, you need to shed some excess body fat. This is accomplished by eating properly and consuming less calories each day than your body burns.

Secondly, your abdominals must be trained in accordance with proper resistance training. I'll discuss Ab Crunches as an effective exercise to build your abs.

Ab crunches can be performed anywhere:

Starting Position:
Place your hands crossed on your chest and lie flat on the floor with your knees bent. By bending your knees you're providing your lower back with support. You can also place your hands behind your head if you prefer, but this position often leads to poor posture and unnecessary strain on your neck. In other words, you also end up cheating by lifting yourself using your arms and neck rather than your abs.

Performing the Exercise:
Slowly raise yourself using your abs, with your lower back always pressed against the floor. Raising your lower back will put unnecessary stress on your back. There are many exercises specifically for your lower back and remember, the abdominals create the exercise. Hold for a second at the top of the crunch (movement). Following the same method, slowly lower yourself. Remember to also breathe. Exhale as you crunch your abs and inhale as your lower yourself back the ground.

Number of Sets:
Try 3 or 4 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions done 3 times per week. If you are new to this exercise, you may want to try doing 3 sets of 12 to 15. Remember, the slower you perform the exercise, the more you will get out of it! It's not necessarily the number of reps you perform, it's the technique you use to perform each and every ab crunch repetition! The great thing about abs is that they can be exercised every second day, depending on your time and workout schedule.

Variation:
Try the same procedure by raising your legs or when you want to work on your obliques. Most people forget about working the oblique muscles (your side stomach muscles). Lie on the floor the same way as for regular crunches and cross your legs over to begin the exercise. If this feels uncomfortable or difficult, you may want to try the exercise standing up.With a reasonable weight in one hand, slowly lower one side and then return to the starting position. Repeat the procedure on your other side.

These are just a few of the many ab exercises that you can perform almost anywhere. For more varied abdominal exercises and workouts we recommend the following book:
The Complete Book of Abs by Kurt Brungardt
 

Ab Crunches Video

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