For tighter and stronger abs, do the following core exercise routines for these muscles. I’m a certified personal trainer.
Not only are these great ab routines, but it’s very important to follow these instructions so that you have the correct form.
Bad form, while performing ab exercises, will sabotage your attempts at getting stronger, tighter abdominal muscles.
Abdominal tightening exercise #1: Supine trunk curl on stability ball
Total reps: 5-15. Lie back down on a stability ball or “Swiss” ball. Keep your arms X-crossed at your chest. Curl your abdominals toward your hips, keeping your head and neck aligned with spinal column. Do not jut the head forward.
Keep the feet planted on the floor; do not move them. Most importantly, make sure the ball does not roll about as you crunch, because otherwise, this will take tension away from your abdominal muscles.
An easier variation is to keep your arms extended out in front of yourself. A harder variation is to curl up as high as possible and hold the crunch for three seconds, focusing on contracting the ab muscles. You should feel a burn in the ab muscles.
Abdominal tightening exercise #2: Stability ball leg lifts
Total reps: 5-15. Sit on the floor, legs straight out (but don’t lock out knees) and cradle the ball between the ankles. Make sure half of the ball is above your feet and half of it is below, so that it doesn’t fall out.
Keep hands off floor at all times. With your legs straight, raise the ball 6-12 or more inches off the floor, keeping your back upright. Hold for one second, then lower to floor.
Always keep your legs straight. Here is a harder variation: Don’t let the ball touch the floor between reps. Bonus: Adductors (inner thigh muscles) get targeted. You will feel your abdominal muscles working with this exercise.
Abdominal tightening exercise #3: V crunches the correct way
Total reps: 5-15. Sit on a bench, with your thighs parallel to its length, and most of the bench behind you. Keep hands off the bench at all times. Extend your legs straight over the bench and keep them together.
Lift feet 6-30 inches from the bench, then bend knees toward torso. Legs must stay together; do not flare out your thighs.
Bring the knees tightly into chest and hold this position for two seconds. Then extend your legs to straight again and hold the extension for one second.
Do not let legs touch bench. In addition to abdominal muscles, this exercise will noticeably target the lower back.
Abdominal tightening exercise #4: BOSU board back extensions
Total reps: 20. Lie tummy down on a BOSU board so that the board acts as a balancing point. BOSU stands for both sides up.
BOSU boards look like half a sphere, or half a stability ball. They have a soft rounded side, and the other side is flat. So when you lie tummy down, make sure that you are lying on the soft, rounded side, not the flat, hard side.
Keep legs nearly straight and together. Keep arms at your sides but off the floor and board. Arch (extend) your back, bringing your legs up a little (though keeping them nearly straight-thighs slightly lift off board), and at the same time, your chest will be lifting off the board. Hold one second and repeat.
Do these abdominal exercises twice a week, and over time you will notice stronger, tighter abdominal muscles.
These ab routines are not designed to take fat off your belly. They are strictly designed to make the abdominal muscles tighter and stronger. To get rid of the fat in your belly, you must target large muscle groups that depend upon more body fat for workout fuel as well as recovery fuel.