Everyone wants those flat, toned abs in order to look great in our clothes and swimsuits, and having toned abdominal muscles also has a lot of health benefits. To help you get fitter and healthier, here are the best ab workouts to get or keep those abs toned. As a yoga practitioner, the very first 8 minutes of every yoga-hour is focused on my abs. That is the style of the funky and funny yogini, Nadia Sardini. So in the spirit of yoga, I’ll share with you all some of the moves that will tone those abs and also give you a strong back because a weak back and toned abs don’t mix!
1. The Bicycle
Imagine riding a bicycle but while lying on your back. Sounds easy enough, right? But instead of lying with a flat back, lift your shoulders off the floor and bend your head to point your chin towards your neck and keep your fingertips lightly behind your head. Use your core to balance yourself and to remove any stress out of your neck. Then move your legs in the “riding” motion.
TIP: Don’t use momentum but rather, go slow in order to build up muscle. If you use momentum, you will sweat but you sure won’t see any difference in your waistline. I advise that you do it for a minute straight then take a 15 second break then repeat. Try varying your resting time to avoid hitting the dreaded plateau.
2. The Pilot
It took me almost a year of yoga to be able to do this pose so I advise you become a serious yoga practitioner and feel your entire body, change. Back to the pilot. The pilot builds balance and strength in not only your abs but also in your back and legs. This is how you get into the position:
Come to a standing position. Make sure your muscles are properly warmed up so you don’t suffer any muscles cramps or imbalance. Slowly bend both knees. As you push back up into standing position, extend one of your legs back so it is at 180 degrees once you stand on the other leg. At the same time, lean your body forward so that your torso is also in a 180 degree position. If you have followed the instructions to the tee, your body is in a 180 degree position with your standing leg perpendicular to it. Make sure to keep a slight bend in the standing leg so as to not strain the ligaments in your leg. Lower your gaze for stability and use your core.
3. The Boat Pose
The boat pose is another ab-toning exercise! I promise you, you will feel the burn. Come to a seated position; lean back slightly till your legs are free to move from under you while balancing your seat bone. Now that you are balanced, slow extend your legs in front of you. As much as you are balancing on your seat bones, use your core to stabilize yourself so that you do not feel the weight of your legs lifted.
It is best to do any ab exercises in the morning as soon as you get up. This is because it gets your bowels moving which keeps you regular and also, your abs will tone up a lot faster than if you did it in the middle of the day.