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Core Training - the Best Abs Workout

By Jon Smith Subscribe to RSS | January 25th 2012 | Views:

Having a hard time lugging groceries around and feel off balance? Core training with the best abs workout is about more than flashy abs. Learn how to perform the best workouts for your abs to improve core strength and balance.

Core training using a variety of exercises such as an abs workout isn't a new concept, even though its popularity is growing. Jersey Shore might have made rippled abs mainstream, but physical therapists and personal trainers have been using techniques to shape abs for years.

Without a strong core and trunk muscles, achieved through an abs workout and other strength training exercises, you'll experience a lot more back pain and balance issues. You could also be more prone to soft tissue injuries during your workouts.

That region of your body is called the Core for a reason. It's the core of everything you do; whether it's normal activity around the home or your athletic pursuits. It should be noted that core training exercises aren't designed to get rid of fat around the flanks and belly. An abs workout won't necessarily shed belly fat. It's designed to tighten up the regions around the abdomen; the rectus abdominis (your six pack) and the obliques (your waist).

Want to tighten up that region fast? A commissioned study from the American Council on Exercise lists the following ab workouts to be the most effective at strengthening your core.

"The Bicycle" Abs Workout

This is a simple exercise you can do in the home or outside. Lie face up and place your hands behind your head, gently supporting it with your fingers. Bring your knees to your chest and lift your shoulders off the floor without pulling your neck (avoid straining your neck)

Next, rotate to the left and bring your right elbow towards your left knee while straightening your other leg. Return to the start position and switch sides. As you continue the motion, you'll alternate sides like you're peddling. Do in one to three sets of around 12 reps per set.

"Ball Crunch" Abs Workout

The exercise ball makes it easy to do a variety of workouts in the home, include this abs workout. What makes the exercise ball more effective is that when you're doing an abs workout (crunches) on the floor, you're doing some of the work with your legs. With the ball, your legs are resting which makes your abs do more work.

To start, lie on the exercise ball with the ball positioned under your lower back in the lumbar region. Cross your arms over your chest or place them behind your neck - do not use your arms to pull yourself up.

Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribs down toward your hips. As you curl up and return to the starting positionthrough the abs workout, keep the exercise ball stable. It should not move or roll beneath you. Perform in one to three sets of around 12-16 reps per set.

"Leg Crunch" Abs Workout

The vertical leg crunch is another powerful abs workout you can do in your home, and provides a workout for the rectus abdominis as well as the obliques. It's similar to a standard crunch but the legs are extended upward, forcing you to use your abs to do all the work.

To start, lie on the floor and extend your legs straight into the air with your knees crossed. Support your neck with your hands (but don't pull from the neck). Contract your abs to lift your shoulders off the floor. While perform this abs workout you should feel like you're reaching out to your feet with your chest. Keep your legs in a fixed position and return to your starting position. This abs workout should be repeated in one to three sets of 12 to 16 reps per set.

Flat abs arenot difficult to obtain, and building that lean muscle not only strengthens your core but can also help you burn fat. When you're planning an exercise routine, make sure you incorporate a wide variety of exercises including core strengthening with these abs workouts.

Jon Smith - About Author:
Eric Bernard is the marketing manager of who promotes its fitness videos throughout Globe. You can find abs workout and abs workouts easier and faster at his website -->

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