What abs exercises can I do to build
well defined Abs?
Most people believe the abdominal
muscles are best worked by doing a variety of stomach curls or sit
ups, but understanding the abdominals physiological design and
purpose will help point to exercises that will better tone and
strengthen your abs.
The abdominals' purpose is to work
in concert with the many muscles in the back to allow us, as humans,
to walk upright. For comparison, the next time you pet a cat or dog
you will notice their abdominal wall is distinctly non-muscular with
almost no muscle definition. This is a direct result of them not
walking upright. Contrastingly, they have significant muscle mass in
their shoulders and hunches, which is exactly what you need to walk
on all fours.
Knowing this fact it should be
obvious that the best exercises for abs are those that involve
upright movement. Good abdominal building exercises include running,
aerobics, basketball, or soccer. One of the best exercises is
sprinting. To run at max speed requires very strong abs. My all time
personal favorite is hiking. The navigation of steep grades requires
very well developed abs. It is also important to note that these
exercises benefit back muscles equally as well as they do the
In fact the recent popularity of
“Core Training” capitalizes on building abs and back muscle in
concert. Core exercises help to build better abs, which in turn
lessens the load that the back muscles must handle. There is a
dramatic decrease in back problems when abs are strengthened, which
is very significant as back problems are the leading chronic injury
Of course the popular abdominal
exercises do benefit the abs, but simply performing them is not the
answer to getting great abs. By incorporating a variety of
activities into your weekly regime your abs will quickly grow
stronger and more toned.
However the strongest abs in the
world will never be seen if a person has too much fat over them.
Contrary to popular belief, all the ab workouts in the world will
not target the fat around the stomach. The only solution to
excessive fat buildup is to create a calorie deficit. This can be
done by increasing the amount of exercise, modifying the diet, or a
combination of both.
For anyone looking to make a
lifestyle change, I highly recommend incorporating both exercise and
diet for long term lasting benefits.