Some men are more than keen to rip of their shirts during the hot sticky days to reveal their rippling – well, gut.
Not everyone can be blessed with a six pack, but those who get active and plan ahead for those beach-hot days, will at least achieve something that the ladies are happy to look at.
Here are some tips on how to get active and get a beach body relatively quickly.
It’s best to do these exercises with “quality over quantity” in mind. You don’t have to do them quickly – just steady and controlled, and you’ll get better results and rippling abs before you know it! Also it’s pretty important to make sure that you have some level of fitness before launching yourself headlong into these exercises. Ask your doctor first if needs be. And also remember that you’ll get far better results if you’re eating a sensible diet. Doing this exercises and then rewarding yourself with a dripping cheese burger may not be the best way forward! If you stay true to your workout and your diet, then you’ll soon be rewarded with a rippling six pack to be proud of. You can do them pretty much anywhere, although a couple require equipment – a Swiss ball, and a pull up bar. But no doubt you can improvise if needs be!
Plank with crunch
Starting in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight, bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return your leg and back into the plank position. Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow. Alternate sides for a total of 10 complete reps.
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, and your legs raised and bent at 90 degrees. Alternate sides by bringing your right elbow towards your left knee then your left elbow towards your right knee, building up to 60 seconds. Try and hold the crunch for a two-count on each side to force a slower, concentrated movement.
Swiss ball crunch
A Swiss ball (fit ball) is a great exercise tool and has seen a soar in its popularity recently. It can be used in many different ways, and it can help define your abs. Sit on a Swiss ball with your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Lean back, so that your back is almost parallel to the floor. Straighten your arms and point them toward the ceiling. Contract your abs, as you would for a crunch, while you reach for the ceiling with your fingertips. Hold the contracted position for three seconds. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this ten times.
Hanging Leg Raise
If you have a pull-up bar at your disposal, then this is a great way to tone and define the abdominal muscles. In the first exercise, hanging from a pull up bar you need to raise your knees in a dip to where your back feels supported. Then when you’re happy with this, hanging from the bar then raise your knees. You can also change this around by raising extended legs, and raise extended legs with a dumbbell in between your feet, for the ultimate workout.
Modified sit up
We all know and love the old sit up, but this modified version gives a more targeted exercise to the abs.
To begin, start in the normal sit-up position - back flat on ground, hands behind the neck or over chest, knees bent at about 120 degrees. From this position try to curl your body upwards with a slow, deliberate contraction. Don’t use the momentum from the bottom – you may get stuck a few times but it will make you stronger. When you’ve got this angle sorted, you can lower your legs further.
Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you and your feet together. Prop yourself up on your elbows and keeping your feet together and your legs straight, lift your feet until your legs are at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Brace your core and extend your hands toward your feet. Squeeze your abs and reach your hands toward your feet, lifting part of your back off the floor. When your hands are as close to your feet as they can get, hold that position for one to three seconds. Lower your torso back to a 15- to 20-degree angle.
These exercises vary in intensity, but they are all fairly straightforward – so much so that you can easily fit them into your lunch break. If you keep up your regime and stick to a decent diet then no one will complain when you decide to walk bare-chested along the high-street – or preferably, the beach.
by Kath Webb
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by Kath Webb
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