If you have a newfound desire to strengthen your core muscles, you have come to the right place. Having defined abs is something most people undoubtedly want, but they just haven’t educated themselves on how to get them. But, I have some good news.
Everyone can get abs.
That’s right. No matter your weight, age, gender, or preexisting fitness levels, you are completely capable of achieving flat abs.
However, it is important to know that increasing your abdominal fitness is different for everyone, and it can be a bit difficult at first. It requires lots of motivation and mental strength to keep pushing in your fitness journey.
So, if you want to strengthen your core, keep reading to educate yourself about abdominal fitness and the best core strengthening techniques.
What are Abs?
Before getting into the techniques for core strength, it is important that you understand the science behind abs.
Abs is short for abdominal muscles. The 5 muscles that are prevalent in abs are the rectus abdominals, the external oblique, internal oblique, linea alba, and transversus abdominis. These muscles run vertically along the human abdomen.
Because there are different muscles that make up your core, there are different exercises that maximize strength in one specific area.
Most people assume that you already have abs, but they are just covered by a layer of fat. This is only partly true.
Yes, we all have abs. However, if the layer of fat were completely removed, the abdominal muscles would lay completely flat with zero definition. Therefore, it still takes work to create a more toned core.
How Abdominal Strength Affects Women
There is one thing specifically that steers women away from getting abs, and this is that it is generally more difficult for women to get abs compared to men.
This is mainly because of the different fat percentages. Women and men both have a different threshold for body fat percentages. Men naturally are built to have less body fat than women, so it is easier for them to get abs.
Additionally, women who go through pregnancy are at an even higher disadvantage when getting abs. This is all plays into the body fat percentage.
But, don’t let this discourage you.
It is definitely still very doable for women to achieve better core strength. It just requires slightly more work.
A common misconception is that if you don’t have visible abs, you don’t have good core strength. This is completely false. Especially for women, it can be difficult and sometimes unattainable to get a perfect six-pack – and this is completely okay! You do not need visible abs in order to have great core strength.
6 Benefits of Core Strength
- It strengthens your lower back: When you exercise your abdominal muscles, it actually helps strengthen your lower back. This is going to minimize and prevent back pain. Since you are strengthening your lower back, it makes you also less susceptible to back injuries.
- It helps to create better flexibility: Since you are working out a muscle group, it releases tension which results in better flexibility. Again, this will prevent further injuries from happening. This also enhances your range of motion.
- Easier weight loss: The habits and routines you take part in to achieve abs will most likely transfer into your daily life. This is going to make it much easier to lose weight since you already were able to burn fat in your abdomen
- It builds confidence: Let’s face it, having a six-pack would make us all feel a little better about ourselves. Your abs are the center of the body which is why there is such a focus in society about achieving perfect abs. A lean, fit body is going to make you both look and feel better which increases self-confidence.
- It improves posture: Having excellent core strength improves posture greatly. Strong core muscles correspond with the muscles in your back which impacts your posture. Good posture leads to a better appearance and less back pain over time.
- It improves your quality of sleep: Believe it or not, core strength actually improves the quality of sleep you get. If you are leaner, your breathing is improved. This prevents sleep apnea, snoring, and other breathing problems from occurring in your sleep.
The Best Workouts for the Abdominals
There are so many other workouts other than crunches and sit-ups. Doing only crunches is not going to get you where you want to be. It is essential to incorporate other workouts and techniques in order to get a more defined core.
- Plank: The plank exercise is going to work out your abdominal muscles in different areas compared to traditional sit-ups and crunches. To switch things up, you can search for different variations that make the plank more difficult and more effective.
- Russian twists: Russian twists target your obliques (otherwise known as “love handles”). Do them with weights to get an even better effect.
- Exercise equipment: Incorporating exercise equipment into your core fitness routine can be a great way to maximize your workout’s effects. If you are going to do crunches, doing them with an exercise ball is a great way to get the full effect. Also, NordicTrack treadmills are great options for fitness equipment that helps to enhance your workout.
- Cardio: The best thing you can do to burn more calories and body fat is cardio. Working out your muscles only tones them. Cardio is what is going to make you lose the layer of fat that is covering your abs. Cardio can be incorporated by jogging, running, jump-roping, or jumping jacks.
It is important that you incorporate both cardio and muscle training exercises into your routine in order to achieve the best results.
Knowing what goes behind strengthening your abdominal muscles and the core workouts specifically are going to lead you to have much better core strength. After putting in the time and effort, you are going to have amazing abdominal fitness in no time.