A ‘strong core with washboard abs’ is something we all dream of and wish to achieve. Whether you are in the fitness game or not, almost all of us want to own better, flatter, toned abs, and for the lucky few who have it right, are also working on maintaining it. With multiple methods out there to achieve the dream of a model like core, one can choose what works best for them. Yoga, gyming, pilates, strength training, cardio, HIIT, Kickboxing, the list is long and options are plenty. Also, it is imperative that we connect to the saying,
“Six pack abs are made in Kitchen”
Although, all of us do not aspire to own a six-pack or four-pack, still the saying holds true even for those who wish to accomplish a strong core. For a tucked in stomach, it is not just exercising we have to cope up with, the portions we put on the plate and what we put in our mouth is an equally important consideration. The commitment to fitness is not a small term goal, rather it is a journey where we are dedicated to our health.
For those fitness enthusiasts who would love to add intensity, fun and challenge, we have brought a small, 10 minutes, core workout, designed in HIIT style. The workout consists of four exercises with pattern; 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off and each exercise is performed four times in a row. The short rest periods add intensity to the workout periods and allow the practitioner to perform at his/her full capacity. HIIT or high intensity interval training workouts are known to burn more calories than the low impact workout, where there are no rest periods.
Let us take a look at the workout.(https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0s7CWF159SE)
Jack Knife Crunches
A challenging exercise, Jack Knife crunches are usually a part of advance level practitioners’ workout regimes. Working just with the body weight, this exercise takes care of the ab muscle or the rectus abdominis muscles in conjunction with other muscles to get the desired results. Rectus abdominis is also known as the six-pack muscle, which falls right in the center of the abdomen.
Muscles Involved: Rectus Abdominis muscles, obliques, hip flexors, inner thigh muscles
Variation: Instead of having the legs straight, you can bend at the knee for the calves to get parallel to the floor.
Known for its comprehensive reach, Planks are one of the best exercises in order to target the entire core. Upper & the lower abdomen, the lower back and the upper body work hard to manage the body weight effectively in the position. Plank steps up the game by adding movement in the lower body by way of steps. The core works significantly harder than it works in a normal plank thereby adding to the entire challenge.
Muscles Worked: Rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, larger muscles of the back, shoulders, thighs and pelvic region
Variation: Come down to your knees and perform the exercise on your knees the whole time.
While working the torso, it is not just the front of the abs that should be targeted, even the side abs or the obliques play an integral role in achieving the ‘V’ shaped torso. Russian Twists target the obliques and helps strengthen them, which further supports the other abdomen muscles to grow six-pack abs. This exercise also works out the extra lunge hanging around the pants, the love handles and lower back fat.
Muscles Worked: Inner and external obliques, quadriceps (if the legs are lifted)
Variation: In order to add intensity, the practitioner can hold a dumbbell or lift his/her legs in the air a little to achieve a constant contraction.
Toe Touch Crunch Pulses
Targeting the entire front section of the core, Toe touch crunch pulses are directed towards the abdomen by the way of spinal flexion. Since the legs are lifted in the air, the abdomen has to help the pelvis muscles in stabilizing along with lifting up to the rich the toes. There are plenty of variations to the beginner to intermediate level exercise, but in order to achieve your target, it is best that you perform it in its full swing.
Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis and Obliques
Variation: For lowering the intensity, the practitioner can perform the exercise with just one leg and to increase the intensity, the practitioner can hold a dumbbell in his/her hand and lift it to touch the toes.
These four moves will help the practitioner reduce his/her belly fat, but this routine alone cannot achieve the desired results. In conjunction with these moves, one can add cardio or HIIT workouts and watch the diet as well for an overall transformation.