If you’re still in the school of thought that performing thousands of crunches will yield awesome abs, then you’re over-due for a fitness wake-up call. Burning belly fat and flattening your abs requires much more than your average crunch and even sit-up. What you really need to tighten and tone your abs are multiple-muscle exercises that target every region of your core, which consists of your lower and upper abdominals, obliques, transverse abdominis, and your lower back muscles.
Ready to ditch the crunch? Check out some of these effective bodyweight ab exercises that the boot camp in Stafford wants you to try.
Dumbbell Pushup Row
This one is a boot camp favorite. Place a pair of dumbbells shoulder-width apart on the floor. Then, grab the handles and position yourself in the starting position. Next, you’ll want to lower your body to the floor and then press back up (just like a pushup). Once you’re back in the original starting position, pull the dumbbell in your left hand up toward the side of your chest. Pause for a second, then go back to the starting position and repeat the process with your right hand. That equals one rep. Remember to prevent your torso from rotating each time you bring up your dumbbell.
Dumbbell Curl to Squat Press
Start by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at an arm’s length next to your sides with your palms facing forward. Then, without moving the upper arms, bend the elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. From this point, immediately push your hips back and lower your body into the squat position, until your thighs are at least parallel to floor. To complete this rep, stand up and press the pair of dumbbells over your head. Return to your original starting position.
Resistance Band Bent-Over Row
Resistance bands are a great fitness tool used in many boot camps and fitness centers today. This is because they are really simple to use and extremely effective at working your muscles. Here’s how to do a Bent-Over Row with resistance bands: grab your resistance band and step on it with one foot (for more of a challenge, use both of your feet). Hold your band in each hand at an arm’s length, shoulder length apart, then bend at the hips and and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Your knees should be naturally bent and the lower back arched naturally. Next, you’re going to squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your band up towards your upper abs. Pause, and then return to your starting position.
Any type of planking is great for your abs because it can help you to carve out an amazing six-pack. Starting in the pushup position, bring your left foot forward and place it next to your left hand (or try to get as close as you can). As a rule of thumb, when you’re in this position, try to prevent your hips from sagging too low or rising. Return your leg to the original starting position and repeat the exercise with the right leg. Congrats, you’ve completed one planking tuck rep.
Start this bodyweight ab exercise by leaning your butt, upper back, and head against the wall. Then, place your hands and arms against the wall, with your palms facing outwards, your elbows should be bent at 90 degrees and your upper arms should be at shoulder height. Hold this position for one second. Try not to let your head, upper back, or butt lose contact with the wall you’re using. Keeping your wrists, elbows, and hands pressed into the wall, slide your elbows down toward your sides as far as you possibly can, then squeeze your shoulder blades together. Next, slide your arms back up the wall as high as you possibly can, all while keeping your hands in contact with the wall. Now all you have to do is lower and repeat.
These ab exercises are a lot more effective than the crunch is at carving out the belly you’ve always wanted. It’s largely due to the fact that these exercises target multiple muscles at once and they work to burn more fat and calories than the stale, old-school crunch.
So, the next time you’re stuck in a rut, performing tons of crunches to attempt to reduce that belly fat, try one or all of these amazingly effective Stafford boot camp exercises.
This blog was submitted by a Stafford Personal Trainer from Fit Body Boot Camp Stafford.