Do you want a sporty stomach? Crunches and sit-ups alone don’t create flat abs. We’ll tell you which exercises are most effective at training your stomach
DA belly is great. There is nothing wrong with that. Don’t let yourself be persuaded. You still want him to be a little sportier? Okay, but then right and not with jerky diets and wrong training. We’ll show you how to do abdominal muscle tuning properly!
“Unfortunately, the belly next to the thighs and buttocks is the part of the body where we are most likely to put on fat deposits for genetic reasons – especially when we do little sport and like to eat,” explains Marleen Schumacher, trainer and founder of Greenbodycamp Strengthility Coaching . No matter whether your goal is just a flat stomach or a pronounced six-pack – with these tips your abdominal muscle training will be as effective as never before.
The anatomy of the abdominal muscles
There are 3 areas of the abdominal muscles: the front, straight abdominal muscles, the lateral abdominal muscles, and the rear, deep abdominal muscles.
1. The anterior abdominal muscle
Visually, this is clearly the focus. It runs in two longitudinal strands from the breast to the pubic bone and is separated in the middle by the Linea Alba. His duties include maintaining an upright posture and stabilizing the trunk and pelvis.
With a six-pack, by the way, the transverse tendons only look as if they consist of several small muscles. That’s why there are no anatomically ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ abdominal muscles that you can train. Depending on the posture, however, the upper or lower area of the straight abdominal muscle is used.
2. The lateral abdominal muscles
They run diagonally from the outside of the ribs to the pelvis and support the front abdominal muscle: They bend the trunk, raise the pelvis and, together with the back muscles, stabilize the spine.
3. The back abs
The lumbar muscles stabilize your ribs and bend your hips. In addition, the abdominal muscles are involved in breathing and help you to press hard out of the stomach.
That is why women should train their abdominal muscles
Regular and effective training of the front, side and back abdominal muscles strengthens the middle, forms a beautiful waist and lets the abdominal muscles shine through. In the long run, this doesn’t just look good. Abdominal muscle training is also recommended for health reasons. Schumacher confirms: strong abdominal muscles …
- strengthen the back and thus prevent back pain
- stabilize and relieve the spine and thereby improve posture
- relieve the pressure on the joints (for example when jogging)
- make generally more stable and more efficient in everyday life, so that, for example, towing water boxes is much easier
The 4 best abdominal exercises for at home
The basics would be clarified, then you can start. But before you put your feet under the edge of the bed, get a lot of momentum and do countless crunches, we will quickly show you how to do it correctly.
When coach Marleen Schumacher trains her abdominal muscles, she combines 4 types of abdominal exercises that you should definitely include in your training plan to properly challenge all abdominal muscles:
1. Explosive exercises like quick sit-ups
a: Lay on your back and stretch out your arms and legs.
b: Raise explosively with your arms stretched upwards and bring your fingers to your toes. The legs stay on the floor. Hold abdominal tension and put it down again.
2. Negative movements like the folding knife
a: Lay on your back and stretch out your arms and legs.
b : Tense your stomach and straighten your upper body as much as possible. The arms pull to the feet outstretched. From this position, slowly lower your upper body and legs back to the floor.
3. Slow motion exercises like slow leg lifting
a: Lie on your back, place your arms next to your body. Raise the legs closed and stretch them perpendicular to the ceiling.
b: Now slowly lower your legs. Work with no swing and only with traction from the abdominal muscles. The lower back remains firmly on the floor, not falling into the hollow back. Slowly stand up again.
4. Static exercises like forearm support
Support your forearms on the floor and put your feet up. The elbows are under the shoulders, the back is straight and the abdomen is tense. Hold this position stable for about 60 seconds. Do not stretch your hips too far or let them sag.
However, all those who think they could uncover the desired six-pack with a few targeted abdominal exercises are unfortunately disappointed. Because the usual sit-ups are not enough for the washboard belly.
Why abdominal training alone doesn’t make a flat stomach
You can do as many crunches and sit-ups as you want – you get a trained stomach from it, but it’s not always visible. Because the abdominal exercises only train this special muscle area. As a result, the subcutaneous fat lying above the front abdominal muscles does not automatically melt.
“The most common fallacy is that isolated abdominal training can break down local fat deposits. That is nonsense, there is no local fat burning,” says Schumacher. “In order to lose weight on the stomach and thus make the abdominal muscles visible, the body fat percentage of the entire body has to be reduced.” This works best with a mixture of whole body training, endurance sports and a healthy diet. “In addition, of course, you should also train the abdominal muscles,” says the trainer.
The ideal body fat percentage for sexy abdominal muscles in women is between 10 and 20 percent.
This is how the abdominal muscles become visible
The lower your body fat percentage, the more clearly the fine contours of the abdominal muscles become apparent. In women, this is only possible when the body fat is around 18 percent. Because women generally have a slightly higher percentage of body fat than men, they have to work especially for visible abdominal muscles.
In order to lower the body fat percentage, the body’s basic metabolism must be increased. That’s the amount of energy you burn every day. The most effective method for this is an intensive whole body workout, in which you build up more muscle mass – the 4 basic exercises squats, deadlifts, rowing and bench press should not be neglected.
The great thing about these exercises is that they activate large muscle groups and thereby burn a lot of energy. In addition, the trunk is always trained during squats, deadlifts and many other exercises. “Hull is key – and on the way to a defined body center much more effectively than endless chopping with crunches,” says Schumacher.
Which food is good for the abdominal muscles?
Nutrition also plays a decisive role: To reduce body fat, many people rely on a low-calorie diet, because low carb is considered a kilo killer. “I think that is too short,” says the trainer. “Only with a low-calorie diet will you not get strong muscles!” In general, the fitness trainer advocates focusing less on optics and more on performance.
“Sure, with ‘Abs made in the kitchen’ you can bring yourself to a low body fat percentage and then look forward to a slim stomach, but what do you get from a flat stomach ?! Much better are really powerful muscles that will keep you going long-term support in everyday life “. This is only possible with intensive training – and then a few carbohydrates and above all a lot of good proteins are allowed on the plate.
The 9 most important rules for abdominal muscle training
1. Avoid hollow cross
“If the muscles are too weak, many tend to fall into the hollow back during abdominal exercises,” explains Schumacher. You can counteract this by pushing your hips forward, retracting your navel and maintaining this tension throughout the exercise.
2. Keep breathing
“Don’t hold your breath during the exercise, otherwise your abdominal muscles will cramp,” says the trainer. So keep breathing and especially when doing explosive exercises, exhale loudly.
3. Hold tension
“One mistake that many people make, not only when training their abdominal muscles, is that they do not properly tighten their torso. This improves the performance of almost every exercise.”
4. Also strengthen your back
“A well-trained stomach also requires a strong opponent! If the stomach is strong, but the back is weak, it can quickly lead to bad postures.”
5. Exercise the whole body
Crunches and situps are good for defining the stomach, but you shouldn’t neglect endurance training and strength training for the whole body.
6. Exercise regularly
Those who consistently carry out their abdominal muscle training logically achieve the greatest success. However, your challenges should grow with the muscle. Means: Gently increase the load on your abdominal muscles during training, but continuously.
7. Muscles need relaxation
A muscle usually takes between 48 and 72 hours to regenerate. After that he is resilient for the next round.
8. Bring variety to abdominal training
The body quickly gets used to stress. Therefore, the exercises for the abdominal muscles should always vary and address as many muscle fibers as possible.
9. Listen to your own body
One last rule for efficient abdominal muscle training is: perceive discomfort and pain during training as warning signals! If you are unsure whether a certain training or a certain exercise is not healthy, you should clarify this with an experienced trainer.
Abdominal training is hard work
If your abdominal muscles just don’t show up despite hard training and a disciplined diet, don’t drive yourself crazy: “A large part is simply in the genes. One has full hair, the other a great butt and some well-developed abdominal muscles,” says Schumacher.
In any case, one thing is certain: working out the abdominal muscles is hard work. Anyone who has worked out a stomach trained in this way can then celebrate a little with an abs selfie.