Often people will come to me and talk about how they are trying to get great abs but doing situps is a pain in the neck – literally. Situps are the kind of exercise that has been around for a long time and people just accept as being good, instead though situps are hard on your neck and lower back so there are a few things you can do to build abs that are way better for your abs and not as hard on your back and neck. First things first. If you want to build great abs it is best to make sure that you are taking care of your diet. If you have some fat around your midsection you are going to have a tough time building any kind of visible abs. Instead your abs will be hiding behind that fat, no amount of ab exercises are going to help you lose that fat around your midsection. The best diet for losing fat around your midsection is a diet that has lots of fresh fruit and veggies and is low in those complex carbs like potatoes and rice. Also it is a really good thing to breaks up your daily food into six meals a day, that is one meal every two hours or so. Now for the exercises. It is important to work your abs by looking at the portion of the midsection and then doing exercises to work that area. There are three parts to your abs, the upper, the lower, and the oblique’s. To work your upper abs you need to do exercises that work by moving your legs up. This should be bicycle kicks or leg raises although I like to do bent knee raises while lying on the floor and bring my legs up towards my chest. This exercise will get rid of the pressure on the lower back. To work your lower abs you should shift from situps to crunches. Crunches are performed by lying down with your back on the ground and your legs on a bench and then just raise your shoulders up about six inches off the ground. This will work your abs but at the same time you will feel no pressure on your back. Lastly you want to work your oblique muscles. The Obliques are a muscle on your sides and these muscles are critical for keeping your body from falling to one side or the other. The best way to work your Obliques is to put your hands on your head and your legs about six inches or so apart and then jus lean to one side, hold for a couple seconds and then do the same to the other side. Do about 15 reps on each side. So how many sets and how often to work your abs? I would target 2 or three sets of each of these exercises every second day. You may find that the day after you do these exercises for the first time that you have a sore stomach, not actually your stomach but instead your ab muscles, this is normal and you should not get it anymore after your first week of ab workouts.
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