My Favorite Ab Exercise?
If only I had a nickel for every time a client asked me what the best Ab exercise is. Men and women obsess over the belly bulge. It is not cute when we look in the mirror. It is not comfortable when we bend to tie our shoes. The waistbands on our pants rub the wrong way. Some of you ladies have been mistaken for being pregnant when you were not. Men joke about having a “keg” not a six pack. The frustration and struggle that we have over this one body part can be downright depressing. There has to be a way to get the midsection toned and tight!
We are desperate to find that single exercise that will make our belly fat disappear. When I get asked this question, a few times a day, several thoughts run through my head. These are some of my thoughts:
- All of our bodies are different. We store fat differently. Our posture and body build is different. Our fitness levels are different. An exercise that fits one client may be inappropriate for another.
- It is fruitless to do ab or other exercises alone without changing eating habits.
- Our body works as a unit and not single parts. Exercises that burn the most fat are not single joint exercises like isolated “belly” exercises such as a crunch.
Blah, Blah, Blah … If I give the person that much information, I will likely get a really awkward stare and look of confusion. The person asking just wants a simple one exercise answer. For those of you looking for that single exercise, there is definitely one that I would consider my favorite ab exercise. It is an exercise that most do not even consider a belly exercise. While it definitely works the abs it also works so much more. If done correctly, this one exercise works the chest, shoulders, arms, back, and abs.
Can anyone guess what it is???
My favorite ab exercise is the Push-up. Yep – when done correctly I consider this one of the best ab exercises ever. Unfortunately, I often see men and women doing this exercise incorrectly allowing their bellies to drop during the exercise. When done incorrectly you don’t get the belly strengthening benefits and can actually strain the low back. When done correctly get ready to increase your strength and stamina and burn belly fat.
6 Reasons Push-ups are my Favorite Ab Exercise?
1. Because it works the abs along with other body parts. Consider a crunch – You are moving the middle belly muscles only (rectus abdominis muscles). Often times we are also pulling on our necks. Many of us feel it in our neck and belly.
2. In the push-up your belly muscles are contracted while you are also moving your shoulders, chest, and arms. This means that it burns more fat than a single joint belly exercise like a crunch. More muscles working = more fat burning.
3. This exercise strengthens the entire upper body. The more muscle tone that we add to our body the more calories we burn even at rest.
4. It is challenging. When our body is challenged appropriately it will change.
5. You can do it anywhere. You don’t need any equipment.
6. It can be modified for all fitness levels. You can do a push-up on the wall to start out. Then go to a bench. Finally work your way down to the floor on or off your knees.
Kick it up Tip:
Ok – so that is my favorite ab exercise but I have a TRICK to make it even more effective. I have my clients incorporate a pelvic tilt with the standard push-up. By making this small adjustment to the push-up you will definitely fire up the ab muscles. You will feel burning in those ab muscles and never look at the standard push-up the same. Talk about belly burning!!!
This method will help you to burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate, and will recruit more muscle fibers. By stimulating more muscle action you will stimulate more fat burning.
Let’s get to work on burning fat in those abs! I would love to hear about your ab struggles or about your favorite ab exercises in the comments section below.