An appealing form and inner strength begins right in the center, a concept well understood by the ancients Greeks and many martial arts forms internationally. But, the very thought of targeting the abs is a daunting task. In addition to poor dietary habits and unhealthy lifestyles, it seems nature just made it easier on some than others.
Then, there are the vast quantity of misconceptions being flung about on how to achieve strong toned abdominals. It could be that you are up to your neck in exercises routines that leave you pained and aching but not having done any targeted ab work at all.
If you feel like your efforts are failing, consider getting back to the very essential movements needed to master your abs and build a solid core. We will refer to abs as core muscles as there is no sense in targeting them in the front if you will not also address your sides and back muscles that all contribute to the toned sexy look popular with athletes and bikini babes everywhere.
The following exercises have been selected for their simplicity and efficacy and should be performed daily for best results.
1. High-tension plank
The form is essential in an effective plank. Get on all knees and elbows with you thumbs tuned outward. Extend your toes until your body is a straight line from the tip of your head, through the shoulders, hips, knees, and toes. Tighten the abs as if bracing for a punch and tighten the buttocks and leg muscles to keep from dropping. Focus on what is happening and be alert to the burning that grows within. Increase your time in this position every few days or weekly according to your capacity.
2. Hollow-body hold
Lie on your back with your legs and arms extended in line with the rest of your body. Tighten the abs as if expecting to be punched and at the same time lift your legs from the hips as well as shoulders and arms off the ground. Your body should be in a hollow curve. Look for the point of greatest tension in the abs and aim to hit this spot for as long as possible each time. Again gradually increase the time you remain in this pose.
3. Glute bridge
The sides and back must be addressed as well and this is an important balancing exercise. Lie on the floor facing upward arms to your sides. Bring your heels upward toward your buttocks with your feet flat on the floor. With the abs engaged, lift your hips to the upward to the ceiling as far as they will go and slowly return them to the starting position. Repeat as many times as possible.
If practiced daily, these exercises are a formal introduction to the important core muscles you will need to address to gain the figure and physique you are looking for. Never gauge your own progress by what others have seen and never forget the value of consistency.