A washboard stomach may be one of the most sought after goals among gym goers. Although having washboard abs is based on personal preference and glorified aesthetic, there are benefits to strengthening your core. In fact, your core plays a role in most exercises. Strengthening those muscles gives your body a better foundation, which can reduce the risk of injury and improve overall functionality.
One of the primary benefits of improving core strength is that you can better protect your back from common strains or injuries. Additionally, a stronger core may help you maintain better posture, which also decreases the risk of back pain. With so many ab workouts, though, where do you even begin. Below, we detail an assortment of ab workouts that’ll give you a good burn in your core. Continue to practice them and, while you may not develop a washboard, you can increase core strength.
Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head and bend your knees so that your shins and feet are in a tabletop position. Make sure that you feel your tailbone and lower back on the mat, as that is your anchor during this exercise. Extend your left leg long and angle it up slightly. Twist your torso to the right so that your left elbow touches the inside of your right knee. Return to the starting position and then immediately repeat on the other side. Continue for 30-45 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before starting the next exercise.
Lie on your back with your arms extended above your head. In one fluid motion, raise both your arms and your legs to come up into a “V” position. Make sure to engage your lower abdomen to lift your legs and don’t simply use your legs. Aim to touch your fingertips with your feet before lowering back down to the ground. Continue to repeat this motion for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before starting the next exercise.
Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Lower yourself down onto your forearms so that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Step your feet back into a forearm plank. Engage your glutes, core, and chest. Make sure not to sag your body, as you want to maintain a straight line. Hold this pose for 30-45 seconds and then rest for one minute before starting the next exercise.
Lie flat on your back and bring your hands behind your head. Bend your knees so that your shins and feet are in a tabletop position. Sink your tailbone and lower back into the mat to anchor yourself before you begin the exercise. Exhale as you lift your shoulders off the mat, engaging your core. Inhale as you lower yourself back down onto the mat. Continue this crunch motion for 30-45 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before starting the next exercise.
Reverse Iso Crunch
Lie flat on your back and bend your knees to bring your shins into a tabletop position. Keep your arms by your sides and press your palms into the floor. In a fluid motion, tip your pelvis toward your face, lifting your hips off the ground slightly. Do not try to rock and bring your knees to your forehead; rather, keep the movement small as we just detailed. Return to the start with control and continue to repeat for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and then start the next exercise.
Begin by lying flat on your back with your knees bent, planting your feet flat on the ground about one foot from your buttocks. Keep your feet hip-distance apart. Cross your arms over your chest, interlock your fingers behind your head, or keep your arms by your side; the placement of your arms is completely up to you. During an exhale, engage your core to sit all the way up, touching your chest to your thighs. As you inhale, slowly lower yourself back to the ground and then repeat this motion for 30 seconds.