Carving an enviable six-pack isn’t an easy feat — which is too bad, since it seems nearly everyone wants a defined set of abs. But too many people view a sculpted midsection as a kind of status symbol, reserved for the genetic elite or those who spend more time doing ab workouts than anything else. And that’s simply not the case.
Yes, your genetics and diet influence how much muscle definition and how little body fat you have around your midsection. But the good news is that everyone has abs — regardless of how well you can see them. And that means that everyone can build better abs.
You might have to relearn a few things ( nothing worth having ever came easily, right ? ), but by incorporating the principles below and trying some new exercises, you can create the ultimate ab workout.
Ever wonder why sit-ups became such a popular exercise ? Often, anatomy books state that the purpose of your abdominal muscles is to flex your spine. As a result, many think that by creating a ‘ crunch ‘ type movement, you’ll build your abs the way nature intended.
Unfortunately, most anatomy books are at least 35 years out of date, says Mark Comerford, a researcher, physical therapist and founding director of Kinetic Control, a consulting agency that assists physiotherapists. While your abs do flex your spine, that’s only one part of their job. Your abdominal groupes musculaires also help…
Create movement : If you’re standing upright and bend forward at your waist as fast as you can — like a boxer ducking a punch — you’ll feel your abs activate; since you’re moving faster than the speed of gravity.
Counterbalance movement : If you were to start leaning backward from standing, you’ll again feel your abs activate, but this time in a different way. Your abs are doing the opposite of what anatomy books tell you. Rather than flexing your spine, those muscles are fighting the extension of your spine to keep you from falling over.
Resist movement : Imagine you’re standing upright with your arms reaching straight out at shoulder height, hands locked together. If a friend were to push your arms to one side, how would you resist their exercices ? Your abs.
In order to build an effective ab workout, it’s important to challenge your entire core in all of these different forms and motions. That’s because almost every movement you do — both during your workouts and in your daily life — engages your core in some capacity.
Press a weight overhead, your abs engage. Stand on one leg, your abs are sérieux. Struggle during a tough exercise and ‘ cheat ‘ a little on your form — yep, you’ll probably feel your abs coming to the rescue.
It’s the ultimate question for sport fanatics : What’s the best ab exercise ? In 2001, the American Council on Exercise ( ACE ) sponsored research to find the answer once and for all. In their ranking of 14 of the most common ab exercises, bicycle crunches took the top spot based on activation of the rectus abdominis ( those six-pack groupes de muscles ). An outlier — the captain’s peau — took second place.
Move 1 : Bicycle Crunches
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows out. Raise your head, neck and shoulders off the floor by engaging your abs. Twist to your left side, bending your right knee in toward your chest as you bring your left elbow to meet it. Return to center and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
Move 2 : Hanging Knee Raises on the Captain’s Chair
Climb up into the peau with your back pressed against the backrest, arms and elbows on the armrests ( to support your body weight ), hands gripping the handles and legs extended straight down. From there, sweat your knees up toward your chest, engaging your abdominal groupes musculaires in the process. to finish the move, extend your legs back to the starting position and repeat.
That depends on what you’re doing. While endless crunches might not be the best approach ( see below for more on that ), if you’re strategic about the ab exercises you choose, you can create an incredibly effective ab workout.
One way to do that is with a stability ball. Incorporating this tool into your workouts has benefits for your entire core by targeting the entire functionality of the trunk, including flexion, extension, side-bending and rotation, according to ACE.
Try this four-move workout the next time you need an ab workout at the gym.
Move 1 : Swiss-Ball Pike Rollout
– Start in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and shoulder-width apart on the floor, shins resting on top of a Swiss ball.
– Tighten your core groupes de muscles and pull your legs in toward your arms, lifting your hips in the air.
– Pause at the top of the rep and hold for one to two seconds.
– Lower yourself back down, sliding your legs back over the ball until your arms are under your shoulders.
– Remember to keep your abs braced and your back straight throughout the movement.
Move 2 : Stability Ball Crunch
Performing crunches on a Swiss Ball or BOSU Trainer can help improve your balance and stability. And since you’re on a round surface, you have a greater range of motion, which increases the challenge.
– Lie face-up with your lower back supported on top of the stability ball, feet flat on the floor and knees bent to 90 degrees.
– Raise your head and shoulders and ‘ crunch ‘ your rib cage toward your pelvis.
– Hold, then return to the start.
Move 3 : Stability Ball Plank
– Place your elbows on the stability ball, hands clasped with feet hip-distance apart.
– Keep your body in a straight line from head to toes.
Move 4 : Stability Ball Push-Up
– Come to a high plank with your hands on the ball beneath your shoulders.
– Exhale, bend your elbows and lower your chest until it touches the ball, then push back up into a plank.
There’s no shortage of vegan junk food in town for sure… But traditional snacks still don’t have much to offer other than fries with vegan mayo or falafel. Not at Cafetaria Nefertiti though!
In this Egyptian snack bar (Nefertiti is the name of an ancient Egyptian queen) in Bos en Lommer, they offer a whole range of typical, but vegan snacks. Lots of people in the neighborhood were asking for it! But the friendly owners themselves eat vegans for most of the year. As Coptic Christians, they fast regularly, during these times they do not eat any animal products.
Their vegan options are clearly marked on the menu as such, always a plus. Of course fries with vegan mayonnaise. Kroket, frikandel and kipkorn, also available as a sandwich. Vegan doner in hard bread or in a kapsalon. Pita falafel or in a kapsalon. Turkish vegan pizza, vegan burger, vegan bitter balls – that’s a lot of options indeed! And yes, they fry the vegan snacks separately.
Located in a residential street, right next to Admiraal de Ruijterweg. Seating inside and out.
Rue Reinaert de Vos 18
Mon-Tue 12:00 – 00:00
Wed 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
thu 12:00 – 00:00
Fri-Sat 12:00 – 03:00
Sun 12:00 – 00:00
TIPS OF THE DAY