Ab exercises are pretty popular, for both men and women alike. Everyone wants that sculpted ‘six-pack’ look, especially when summer rolls around. But actually, working on your abs is about a lot more than looking good. There are solid health reasons for taking up an abs home workout. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about your abs, how to get them in shape and why you should bother.
First things first, where exactly are your abs?
The first thing you need to know about abs is that they are not a group of muscles. Although we refer to them in the plural – abs rather than ab – they are in fact a single sheet of muscle. The muscle starts just underneath your ribcage and runs all the way down to the top of your pelvic bone. If you’re lucky enough to have a six-pack, it’s not actually the abs muscle that’s visible but the tough connective tissue that runs over the top of it. If you do a lot of abs home exercises, you’ll find that over time the tissue become more and more tense, making the ‘six-pack’ stand out.
Your abs are essential to maintaining a solid core
Your abs are actually a really important part of your body. They essentially form the main part of your body that’s called the core. Whenever you do any kind of exercise, not just an ab and core workout, you activate your core muscles. Your core muscles are there to stabilise your body and make sure you can use your strength without injuring yourself. What’s more, whenever you exercise, your core muscles act like a kind of pipeline, channelling energy around your body and helping direct force into the muscles you’re putting to work.
3 reasons why it’s a good idea to work on your core fitness
The most common reason for taking up an abs and core workout is because it (hopefully) gives you an attractive ‘washboard’ stomach. But there are actually 3 better reasons to work on this area of your body. Firstly, core exercises help you maintain your stability. This is particularly useful if you play team sports such as football. Having a strong core makes it easier for you to retain your balance when dribbling with the ball at speed. Secondly, performing abs exercises is a good way of improving your posture. Having strong abs helps to keep your body in an upright position, so that you stand straight and tall. Thirdly, having good core fitness is good news for your back. It seems almost counterintuitive that working on the front of your body would be good for the back of your body. Yet that’s exactly how it works. Remember, having a strong core, helps to give your body stability. Working on your abs helps to rebalance your body, lessening the strain on your back muscles, which are easy to overwork.
How to work on your core fitness – a simple abs workout
You might think that the best way to work on your core fitness is to work exclusively on your abs – doing sit-ups, for example. But actually, because your abs are one large muscles group, it’s better if your ab and core workout targets the top, bottom and sides of your abs. Not only will you burn off more energy doing it this way, but you’ll also find that you strengthen more of your muscles. Think of it this way: if you work your abs over and over again, eventually you stop feeling the benefit. By constantly switching up your routine and coming at your abs from different angles, you keep your abs workout fresh, plus you get better strength gains.
How often should you work on your abs?
The short answer is two to three times a week. Again, you might imagine that it’s better to work on your abs as often as possible if you want to see results quickly. But actually, that’s not such a good idea. Basically, you need enough time in between your abs home workouts for your body to relax and recover from the punishment you’ve put it through. If you go too hard on your abs, you run the risk of injuring yourself. A pulled ab will set your fitness routine back by at least a couple of week, while you wait for it to heal, so go slow and steady.
For the easiest abs home workout, try the Ab Doer 360
Already a smash hit in The States, the Ab Doer 360 is now taking the UK by storm too. It’s an ingenious training machine which combines ab-toning, muscle-shaping and aerobics into one simple and fun exercise that we call Abdobics. The best bit is, you do it all while you’re sat down.
Through dynamic seated workout, you effectively burn body fat, improve your aerobic stamina and build muscle. At the same time, because you’re in a sitting position, this clever ab and core workout helps strengthen your back too. And all without you ever having to get down on the cold, hard floor to do crunches or sit-ups.
In short, the Ab Doer 360 is the best way we’ve found for women and men of every size and age to exercise in the comfort of home. Not only will it tone your chest, back, abs, and legs, it’ll help you lose weight, too.