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Abs Workouts -Focusing on the Most Worthwhile Exercises

By Lawrence Thomason

Abs workouts are among the most popular types of exercises of all. Whether the goal is to lose weight around the mid-section or get better definition, people tend to focus a great deal on the abdominal area. This proves to be challenging for most people, as they often work hard and don't see the desired results. You'll see more impressive results from your efforts if you stick to the following principles.

If the only abs machine you ever use was the Captain's Chair, you could still see great results. There's nothing exotic about this machine, as it's a mainstay at every fitness center. Doing a leg raise on the Captain's Chair can be a great foundational exercise for your abs workout. You start out by standing on the Captain's Chair, gripping the handholds comfortably. Raise your knees towards your chest, keeping your back supported by the pad. The slower and steadier the motion, the more you'll get out of this exercise. In a similarly steady motion, the legs come down; try to do ten repetitions and work your way up to three sets. Be careful to maintain control and proper form at all times, and your back should be straight but not arched.

Doing too many exercises for the abs can be as bad as doing too few. People are often in such a hurry to get six-pack abs that they focus too much on this one muscle group. If you focus too much on the abdominals, you end up neglecting other muscle groups that are equally important. Neither your abs nor the rest of your body do well with a routine that's not well rounded. Doing strictly abs exercises also doesn't do much to help you shed pounds, which is necessary to make your ab muscles more visible. Your abs will do better in the long run if you give equal attention to all of your other muscle groups, as well as aerobic fitness.

So your body does not become accustomed to one particular workout, you want to do interval training which will force it to build muscle and lose fat much more quickly than ever before. Many people appreciate interval training because it allows their metabolism to stay at high levels long after the workout is over. By doing 20 minutes of interval training, you can actually do much more than you can accomplish in 30 minutes of moderate cardio on the treadmill.

If there's one exercise that everyone should add to their abdominal routine, it's the plank. This is a strength building exercise for your whole core and is one well worth doing. This is an exercise you can do on the floor, an exercise mat or an exercise ball, starting in a face-down position. Raise your body up onto your toes and elbows, keeping your back and rear end flat. Stay in the upwards for 60 seconds (or as long as you can) and then come down. When you first do this exercise you may not be able to keep your body up for that long, but you will definitely improve if you stick with it. As you focus on your abs workouts, try not to get confused by all the different exercises and machines you can choose from. When you follow your abs workout, make sure you also do aerobic exercises and don't neglect your other muscle groups either. Combining consistent effort with your abs workouts and a good diet will enable you to improve the appearance of your abs, and the rest of your body as well.

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