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Finding Your Six Pack - Abdominal Exercises

Best Abdominal Exercises

A well defined six pack is one of the most sought after attributes most people strive for when they begin an exercise regime. If it is so desired, then why don’t more people have well defined abs?

Have you seen people at your local gym doing hundreds of crunches, sit ups or trying to balance themselves on stability balls in order to fatigue and hopefully develop their abs? In essence, if you are using whole body exercises such as squats, dead lifts and some Olympic style lifts such as power cleans, and you are engaging your abdominals correctly to support your “core” during these lifts, you are training your abs and doing the best abdominal exercises. To support this theory, Physical Therapy in Sport in 2011 published a study showing that competitive female power-lifters had stronger internal, external obliques and transverse abdominis in comparison to a recreational active control group.

Incorporate Abdominal Exercises Into Your Fitness Regime

Abdominal Exercises Dumbell-PulloverWhat are some options to the traditional crunch or sit up that we can incorporate into our fitness regime? One would be adding the popular Dumbbell Pullover into your routine. When performing this exercise, remember to keep your abdominals fully engaged during the entire movement, and your back flat on the bench. If you find your back is arching, a simple modification you can make is to place your feet on the bench for a little extra support, or shorten your range of motion with the dumbbell. As you become stronger, you can then lengthen your range to provide a little more resistance for the abdominals.

Straight Arm Lat Pulldown

Another abdominal exercises option is the Straight Arm Lat Pulldown. This exercise allows for strengthening of not only the Latisimus Dorsi, but also the rectus abdominis or six pack abs. Without the engagement of the abs during this exercise, you would not be able to keep your body as upright as possible and you would inevitably be targeting the wrong muscle group.

The best way to really find your six pack is to exercise regularly, and eat a well balanced diet that will help melt off the excess fat over your mid section to display your hard work. It is really that simple when you incorporate these abdominal exercises into your routine..

By Lisa Gervais, BCRPA Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, BCRPA SFL

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