Challenging Exercises To Build Lean Abs

With summer knocking at your door, it’s time to get into your beach bermuda pants and bikinis and flaunt your lean abs, so get ready to develop them….

crunch circles

Crunch Circles (Upper abs, Obliques)

Lie flat on your back, knees bent, both feet on the floor, and hands in the position of choice.
Use your upper abs to curl your torso toward your rib cage in a small circular motion. If your torso were a hand on a clock, starting position would be six o’clock; moving up and around to twelve o’clock; (position of a normal crunch) and back down and around to six o’clock completes one repetition. Alternate directions with each repetition.

Tips

• Keep constant tension on your abs throughout the full range of motion (all directions)
• Raise your torso as high as you would for a normal crunch.
• Don’t rest at the bottom of the movement.
• Focus your mind on your abs.

Reverse Crunch Circles (Lower abs, Obliques)

Lie flat on your back, positioning your legs so your thighs are perpendicular to your body and your lower legs are parallel to the floor.
Use your lower abs to curl your hips towards your rib cage in a small circular motion. If your hips were a hand on a clock, starting position would be six o’clock; moving up and around to twelve o’clock; (position of a normal reverse crunch) and back down and around to six o’clock completes one repetition. Alternate directions with each repetition.

Tips

• Keep constant tension on your abs throughout the full range of motion (all directions)
• Raise your hips as high as you would for a normal reverse crunch.
• Don’t rest at the bottom of the movement.
• Focus your mind on your abs.

Double Crunches

Double Crunches (Lower , Upper Abs)

Lie flat on your back, knees bent, both feet on the floor, and hands behind your ears.
Use your abs to simultaneously raise your torso and your legs toward each other. Lower your back to the starting position. Repeat.

Tips

• Concentrate on keeping constant tension on your abs.
• Focus your mind on feeling your abs do the work.
• Don’t let your shoulder blades or feet rest on the floor at the completion of each repetition.
• Let your heels lightly touch the floor on each rep.

Double Crunches with a Cross (Upper, Lower abs and Obliques)

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Using your ab muscles, simultaneously bring both knees toward your left shoulder while curling the shoulder toward your knees. Lower your body back to the starting position. Repeat the movement to the opposite side.

Tips

• Concentrate on keeping constant tension on your abs.
• Focus your mind on feeling your abs do the work.
• Don’t let your leg touch the floor at the bottom of the movement.
• When returning to the starting position, maintain a straight back—do not arch.

Crunches With a Twist

Crunches With a Twist (Upper abs, obliques)

Lie flat on your back, knees bent, both feet on the floor, and hands in the position of choice.
Use your upper ab muscles, to twist your right shoulder toward your left knee in a forward curling motion, so your shoulder blades come off the floor. Repeat the movement to the opposite side.
You can incorporate this twisting movement (activating the oblique muscles) into all the crunch variations: butterfly crunches; knees up; legs straight out; legs straight up; raised hips; and on an incline board.

Tips

• Keep constant tension on your abs. Don’t rest at the bottom of the movement.
• Keep the movement isolated to your upper abs and your obliques.
• Focus your mind on feeling your abs do the work.
• Keep a natural spine.
• The top range of motion is complete when the nonworking shoulder blade comes slightly off the floor.
• On an incline board, increase the slant as your strength increases.

Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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