The key to having defined abs is truly diet related. Unfortunately, you can’t just do some crunches and have a six pack. However, I do believe that it’s important to do ab exercises and have a strong core. I only directly train abs maybe once a week, but when I do compound lifts such as squats and deadlift they also work my abs.
I’ve found that the most effective way to do ab exercises is slow and controlled so you can focus on the mind-muscle connection. I also do a mix of weighted exercises along with just bodyweight exercises.
- Rope Crunch: these are my go-to ab workout. It’s important to have great form and really focus on the contraction and squeezing your abs at the bottom.
- Plank: this one is great because it works your arms and shoulders too. For beginners you can start in a pushup position until you feel comfortable to go on your forearms. I do these a lot in yoga and even I think they’re hard 😂
- Jackknife: these are similar to a boat pose that you would do in yoga. You start in a boat pose (sitting on your sit bone), then lean back slowly, and then squeeze with your abs back up to the starting position.
- Hanging leg raises: these can be done on a special machine, or you can hang from a pullup bar to complete these. I like using the machine best because it can be difficult to hang onto the pull-up bar. You can tell by my face how hard these are 🙂
- Toe touches: these are great because you can vary how you touch your toes to work your abs and obliques at the same time. You can reach both hands to touch your toes, you can also reach one hand to the opposite foot to target your obliques. To really make it challenging, you can reach middle, left, right, and repeat!