BY: Lively Staff

March 19, 2017

The Best Ab Exercises Anyone Can Do To Get Strong

Build core strength with these easy, can-do-anywhere ab exercises.

Spring is in the air and that means it’s time to climb out of the winter workout funk–that means updating your exercise plan to incorporate effective, easy-to-do moves that help you look and feel your best.  Build your core strength with these ab exercises to not only look great, but to help your body perform at it’s peak.

Amanda Dale, personal trainer and nutrition and wellness coach and the face of @ThisFitBlonde on Instagram said, “Having core strength makes your body basically ‘bulletproof’ against common back, spine, and hip injuries.  You’ll stand up straighter, enjoy better posture, look leaner, and be able to move more freely through the activities of daily life without pain or strain.”

Studies have shown that building core strength helps with balance and stability, improves posture that lessens spine pain and discomfort and allows you to breathe deepl, and can help eliminate back pain (1).

“Core muscles connect the upper and lower limbs as well, meaning they’re vital for every sport, leisure activity, and exercise that a person can perform,” Dale said.

The abdominal muscles are divided into three different parts that all perform different functions.  

With spring around the corner, now is a great time to start working on your summertime body.  Dale recommended a few simple exercises for building strong abs:

PLANK:  If you can fit your body onto the ground, you can hold a plank!  This isometric exercise strengthens the deep postural muscles supporting the abdominal wall and engages multiple muscle groups at once for an effective use of time.

BICYCLES:  While crunches are the typical go-to exercise for many, they are not the most effective in building strong abs; researchers even tested the theory that crunches build strength with a sedentary group and an active group (2).  The result?  At the end of the study, the only verdict was that the active group, could perform more crunches and had more endurance.  If you absolutely must do crunches, these are the ones that matter – they work transverse, rectus, and oblique abdominal muscles and encourage stronger neck and lower back muscles to boot.

LEG DROPS:  Lengthening and tightening the lower abs (a “problem area” for many, especially women) takes slow, controlled contraction with an emphasis on the eccentric (lengthening) part of the exercise. 

Stay consistent with your workouts to see results, and make sure you are working plenty of protein into your diet, like our Apple Protein Pancakes, made with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Vital Proteins Organic Whey.

 

Sources

(1) The Real-World Benefits of Strengthening Your Core. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2017, from http://www.bing.com/cr?IG=2546EEFD417D45A0B06DBF1F9F1068A0&CID=286DD792964366840071DDD297726706&rd=1&h=JK5ugpBD_FG5xoehRdewTC_6Iy3fWlwAMLNcFa7w4-4&v=1&r=http%3a%2f%2fwww.health.harvard.edu%2fhealthbeat%2fthe-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core&p=DevEx,5082.1

(2) Vispute, S. S., Smith, J. D., Lecheminant, J. D., & Hurley, K. S. (2011). The Effect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,25(9), 2559-2564. doi:10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181fb4a46

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