Abs are made in the kitchen as you might have heard. However, there are ways to help your abs appear when it comes to your training regime. Here are some of my favourite exercises when it comes to toning, strengthening and showing off your abs.
1. Planking & plank variations. Planking is one of my favourite core exercises that engages all layers of your abdominal fascia and is also a safe exercise for those with lower back injuries like myself. What I love about planking is also the several variations you can do to keep it fun and interesting, including side plank variations and planks with movements such as knee tucks, the up and down plank or alternating shoulder tap plank. For your basic forearm plank- Test out how long you can do a plank for- then add 3 sets of planking into your daily fitness regime and try to increase the time to 2-3 minutes per plank. If you are already at that level- push yourself for a longer plank. Remember to squeeze your glutes and engage your core trough out the exercise.
2. Hollow holds. This is another amazing isometric core strengthening exercise that will make your abs feel the burn! Laying on your back- Raise your legs to a hold at an angle where your spine is being pushed towards the floor throughout the exercise. Let your head be raised looking down towards your toes. Your arms can either be held back stretched up past your ears (be the shape of a banana), or in line with your body for beginners. Try doing 4 sets of 20-30 seconds and increase the time if you find this easy.
3. V sit holds. This exercise exercise targets your upper abs, your lower abs as well and oblique’s. Add in small crunch movements or a side to side rotation as a Russian twist variation. Don't perform if you have a disk injury in your back as it might trigger pain.
4. Compound exercises that burn a lot of calories and require a lot of stabilization work from your core like lunges, squats, Single leg RDL’s or deadlifts
5. High intensity exercises like burpees, squat jumps, mountain climbers, box jumps or hill sprint intervals to help burn fat around the abdominal are