The Bicycle Manoeuvre is the most effective ab workout, according to experts. TNS
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With the New Year fast approaching, people have begun drawing their resolutions to bring about personal transformation, and a much needed one at that after a cancelled 2020.
Getting fit tops most resolution lists and understandably so, with folks piling on the kilos during the holiday period.
One of the major problem areas for individuals is the belly and finding the right exercise to tone it can seem rather tricky.
However, six-pack abs are not something only attained through long hours spent in the gym. Obtaining a strong core is surprisingly easy, if you know how.
Visible abs are actually courtesy a healthy diet leading to a low body fat percentage but there are various workouts that will successfully harden and transform your abdominals.
According to a study done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), there are three abdominal workouts that are most effective in achieving a strong core and washboard stomach muscles.
The Bicycle Manoeuvre, or bicycle crunches
According to the ACE study, this is the most effective ab workout.
For this position, you must lie on your back on a yoga mat with your legs in the air and knees pulled towards your chest.
Fingertips should be placed behind your ears.
To engage your core, contract your shoulder blades as you lift each side off the floor while straightening one leg and rotating your body.
With each rotation, your elbow should reach towards your opposite leg.
You will need some gym equipment for this workout — a captain’s chair or a seat-less chair with back and armrests.
To use the captain’s chair, let your legs dangle straight down before raising your knees towards your chest.
Engage your ab muscles by pulling them towards your spine, and then slowly lower your legs. Repeat.
This exercise works both the abdominals and the obliques.
Crunch on exercise ball
The third most-effective abdominal workout, crunches are often the first exercise people think of when they are targeting their abs.
However, crunches done on a medicine or balance ball will engage the core even more than a regular crunch.
To do this exercise, lie on a ball with your hands behind your head and carry out a typical crunch exercise of leaning back and using your core muscles to then bring you forward.
According to the researchers, although the exercise generated less activity in the obliques and abdominals, it targeted the location more precisely.
This exercise is especially effective because it also requires balance, which engages smaller ab muscles.
The study, led by Phd Peter Francis at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, compared 13 popular abdominal exercises, some involving equipment, and ranked them from most to least effective.
If you have vowed to achieve a six-pack, it will likely take you anywhere from three to 20 months, according to ACE.
However, make sure your diet is in line with your goals, as hours of exercise can be go waste if you’re not eating right.
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