Instagram can provide you with enough incentives to make you want to renew that gym membership and go crazy at the gym. For those who need some inspiration to get their butts off and sweat it out, here are some pictures that’ll make you want to go mental at the gym.
Strong is the new sexy
Hard work pays off
The look of confidence
Everyone wants a good set of abs.
Researchers the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University put the most common abdominal exercises to the test. They studied the thirteen most popular ab exercises and ab equipment by studying the muscle activation as a result of the exercise being performed. This means that they stuck some electrodes on people’s tummies while they performed each exercise. Measurements were obtained with electromyography (EMG). They were measured for the following muscle groups
The rectus abdominus is the six pack muscle we crave so much. The obliques are muscles on the side, next to the six pack and also include your sides which are covered by love handles unfortunately, most of the time. The findings were as follows:
The best overall ab exercises
Swiss Ball Crunch
The best ab equipment
The Captain’s Chair/Vertical Knee raise machine
It’s shocking, isn’t it? Bicycle crunches are common but nobody takes them seriously. Very few people perform hanging leg raises and even fewer do crunches on the Swiss Ball. The most effective ab moves are also the simplest ones. Barely any equipment required and not a single ab machine.
The Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle Crunch is effective because it targets practically the whole abdominal area. It also puts less pressure on your spine and neck. It’s also very simple to do. Bring your elbow to your opposite knee. Breathe out when you extend your leg. Do slow controlled movements and feel the burn!
The Captain’s Chair
Good gyms will always have this. This equipment basically isolates your legs and supports the upper body. Your legs will be dangling down at the start. Just lift them up and breathe out. Bring them slowly back down. Your lower abs does all the work. Just 10 repetitions will tire you out. Beginners may not be able to do this. If you don’t have this you can do hanging leg raises from a bar but that will be quite advanced and slightly less effective.
Swiss Ball Crunch
Swiss balls are not toys and they are not just for girls or sissies. Pilates involves a lot of moves with the Swiss ball and they have rock hard abs to show for it. Crunches on the Swiss ball work the entire abdominal region too. Since your lower back is resting on the ball the abs do most of the work. Support your neck if you want by crossing your fingers around them. Lift your shoulder blades and back of the ball and breathe out. It may seem simple but it gets difficult after about 15 reps. You have to keep the ball stable which will fire up your core.
Doing these three movements alone will not give you a flat tummy or make your abs pop out. Your abs will be strengthened, that’s a given. Follow a good diet. Do this maximum for thrice a week and take a day off at least, in between. An hour (in total) a week is more than enough. You will need to progress to harder variations of these exercises and other exercises for continued progress.