As a practicing exercise physiologist and fitness expert, I’ve taught my fair share of flat-ab workouts, tested every new DVD on the market, and created over 30 different core training routines for publication. Here are my favorite exercises and belly-taming tips to manage your middle and create a strong, firm, de-flabby midsection. Do these moves back-to-back for the ultimate belly-blasting workout, or try just a few different moves daily tighten your tummy.
Best Abs Moves to get fast Six-pack
Stability Ball Corkscrew
This large gym staple is one of the most effective tools on the market because your core has to fire and contract just to keep you seated on top of the ball without tottering off during basic ball crunches. To make it more intense, lie on your back, on the floor or mat, and place the ball between your calves. “Keep your arms at your sides and press the head, shoulders and upper back into the floor to keep the lower-back safe,” said fitness instructor Elizabeth Gillies, author of “101 Ways to Work Out on the Ball.” Begin moving your legs and hips in a figure-8 pattern and squeezing the ball between your legs. Repeat for one minute, bending your knees if you feel twinges in the lower back!
Martial Arts Side Kick
While you might think these kicking actions target your butt and legs more than your abs, it actually works all of them synergistically, and zeroes in on those flab-prone oblique muscles, your side-lying waistline muscles. Stand tall and bring both hands up to chest or chin as if to protect from the blows of an imaginary opponent. Lean body weight into right hip and lift left knee up to hip-height. Snap a fast kick out to the left, barely touch your toes to the floor to recover, and repeat kicking on this side for 10-15 reps. Switch sides to repeat and feel your middle working.
Yoga Boat Pose
Sit tall and balance on your tailbone with both knees bent and toes barely touching the floor. Reach straight arms out past your toes, straighten your back, and begin breathing very deeply in and out only through the nose as you balance on your tailbone. Contract your belly muscles and try to extend first right leg, and then left leg up and out until your body forms a V-position; hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Coffee Table Crunch
Lie on the floor but lift both legs into 90 degrees and rest the back of your calves on top of a coffee table. Variety is more important than total number of crunches here, said fitness instructor LaReine Chabut, author of “Lose That Baby Fat!: Bouncing Back the First Year after Having a Baby — A Mom Friendly Fitness Program.” “Keep your heels on the table, place your hands underneath your head for support and lift your shoulders off the floor toward the ceiling, up and down, 20 times,” she said. After that, crunch right elbow to left knee, drop down, and repeat left elbow to right knee, alternating another 10 to 20 times.
Grab a basketball or small weighted ball to work your belly muscles like professional athletes do. Stand with feet together and heels and toes touching. Hold the ball in both hands overhead, reaching out and back contracting your belly. Stretch up as tall as you can, pressing hips forward and reach farther in back of you with the ball. Tighten your belly and come back to start, repeating for three sets of 20 repetitions.
Prone Pillar Bridge
The best at-home exercise is what AOL’s own personal trainer Joe Dowdell calls a modification of an Elbow Plank. “The intermediate-advanced exercise targets the abs very efficiently as long as you keep elbows under your shoulders during the exercise and use correct form,” said Dowdell, author of “Ultimate You: A 4-Phase Total Body Makeover.” Lie belly-down and support your weight in your forearms as you slowly lift up into an elbow plank. “Slightly arch torso over the mat to really zero in on this area,” said Dowdell. Hold up for 30 seconds, then slowly sink your ribs and belly back onto the mat, and repeat as needed.
While boxers need abs of steel to jab and punch out their opponents, taking shadow boxing underwater places even greater demands on the body and hones the belly in record time, said Scott Cole, co-author of “Athletic Abs.” Come into chest-deep water and begin alternating quick punches as if you’re shadowboxing an opponent. Feel your waistline muscles working as you fight against the resistance of water. “Certain exercises commonly performed on land can be even more efficient in the pool,” said Cole, “and it’s a great way to add diversity to any ab-training routine.”
Rolling Like a Ball
Sit on a mat with knees bent and feet close to your groin, curl torso over the knees and lift your feet off the mat so you balance on your tailbone. “Initiate any rolling movement from your navel as you begin to fall back, bringing your knees with you,” said Brooke Siler, veteran Pilates instructor and author of “The Pilates Body.” “Imagine you’re in a rocking chair that’s about to tip over and quickly bring yourself back to using your belly,” said Siler. “Try it six times and be sure your heels stay glued to your bottom throughout the rolling movement. Don’t allow feet to touch the mat and avoid rolling back onto your neck.”
Tips to Get a Six Pack
A six pack sure turn heads and makes peers and foes alike envious. It is the ultimate goal not only for men but also for women as a pretty set of toned abs look amazing on women too. Achieving this goal is not easy, actually, it is such a tough task for just about anyone but it is very much possible. Be advised that getting a six pack will take time, hence the reason why many people give up before achieving the desired results. However, with a little determination, you will get there and it will be worth it. Here are the top rated tips that you should follow and watch to get lean enough for a six pack to be visible.
Make a Diet Plan
With your calorie intake on check, your next course of action should be to make a diet plan. Without a diet plan, you will have nothing to work from hence you will end up jeopardizing your efforts. Again, there are charts and tables available on the internet that will give you a rough estimate of the amount of calories on common foods. Formulate a meal plan for each day of the week and make sure you stick to it and it remains within your calorie budget.
Keep an eye on your caloric intake
Needless to mention, when you take more calories than you expend and more than your body requires you will end up gaining weight as the calories will be stored as fat. Gaining weight is the complete opposite of your target of a six pack. As such, your first course of action should be to work out the amount of calories you require. Thanks to the internet, you can use a calorie calculator which will measure your weight, height, gender, and current activity level to formulate your daily calorie needs.
Look for inspiration
If your main goal is to lose weight and revert back to the shape that you once were, put pictures of you around the house. If you are looking up to get a six pack and be like someone you know, perhaps a celebrity, get your favorite photos of them and paste them around your house. Places you frequent most this will help keep you motivated especially when the going gets tough and you feel like just throwing in the towel.
Stick to your goals
By now you should have envisioned a workout plan, therefore giving you an easy option of only having to stick to the plan already in the mind. Exercise around 4 times each week for one hour each day. While you might be tempted to channel most of your workouts on the core, this is not really necessary. Your main focus should be to shed off some of the fat around the core. Chances are quite high you already have a well developed set of abs, and all you need to do is shed some little fat so that you can reveal them.
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