How to do Russian Twist

From the name of the exercise, the Russian twist’s main movement would involve primarily twisting your torso to develop muscles mostly in your obliques. Not all stomach exercises give your obliques equal opportunity as your abs to be strengthened. This exercise is certainly one of those that do.

The great thing about this workout is that you have the freedom not just to choose your desired weight but you can use whatever weights you are most comfortable with. Whatever added weight you put in while performing this twisting motion across your abdomen serves to increase challenge and resistance to this exercise.

Because your back should be kept straight while doing the twist, the Russian Twist is also able to further apply pressure on your lower back, effectively strengthening it and helping improve your posture over time.

Do not be tempted to do this exercise in quick motions as you move from left to right. The secret to getting the Russian Twist to work fully is to do it slowly and deliberately while focusing on your breathing. This gives your obliques sufficient time to deeply contract.

The Russian Twist is certainly a good complement to your other abs exercises that provides overall upper body conditioning.

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Choose a challenging weight you’d like to work with (e.g. barbell weight plate, dumbbell, exercise ball, medicine ball) and hold it with both hands directly in front of your chest, elbows bent.
  2. Sit down on the edge of an exercise bench or any other similar elevated flat surface.

Execution

1.     Lean back slightly while keeping your abdominal muscles taut.

2.     Raise both feet off the floor, keeping your knees bent and close together at all times.

3.     Twist your upper body from left to right, twisting your hand-held weight toward the same direction simultaneously.

Return

Sit up straight and touch your feet back to the ground.

Repeat

 
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How to do Reverse Crunch

If there is one exercise that almost always makes it on the list of the top 10 abs exercises, it is the crunch. The crunch has often been mentioned to build and tighten abs muscles. And indeed they do.

If your target is your lower abs, then reverse crunches can do so much more. Unlike the usual crunches, your upper body remains stationary and it is both legs that initiate the lift with the lower back slightly raised, providing the muscles in your lowers abs with maximum contraction. Hence, the reverse crunch also makes your quadriceps stronger due to the resistance it brings while doing it repeatedly.

To bring out the real benefits of reverse crunches, it is crucial that the legs are raised primarily because of the contraction you do with your abs muscles and not due to any movement on your upper back or spine.

Quality is highly important over quantity so controlled movements of the abs muscles must be experienced to gauge that the exercise is working for you.

Once you are able to do reverse crunches in perfect form, you will understand why this is one of the highly recommended lower abs exercises to include in your training.

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or an exercise bench.
  2. Place hands on your sides so that they are barely touching the outsides of your hips, thumbs pointing upward.
  3. Flex your feet so that your toes are facing the ceiling.
  4. Lift your legs slightly off the ground while keeping your abdominal muscles taut.

Execution

1.     Lift both your legs up further with your knees slightly bent at first.

2.     Lift your feet further off the ground until your hamstrings are perpendicular to the floor and your knees are at the top. Remember to keep your feet flexed and your upper body flat on the floor at all times.

Return

1.     Lower your legs back down to its original position without them completely touching the floor.

Repeat

 
Has reverse crunch helped your abs training? In what way? Let us know by adding your comments below.

How to do Pull-ups

If all back exercises would be ranked in a list according to how well they build muscle mass, pulls ups would definitely make it on top.

Pull ups are very effective in targeting your back muscles, specifically your lats to gain optimum strength and conditioning. Aside from your lats, the powerful movements required of this exercise as you pull your weight up an exercise bar ensure they can also work on your middle back, shoulders and biceps.

If this is your first time to try pulls ups and think they are challenging to do just by reading the instructions below, you are not mistaken. Many beginners have started out being able to do only halfway, if at all, but this is no reason to be frustrated. They are difficult but not impossible.

Rather than seeing them as hard, think of them as a way of challenging you and your target muscles as well. And because of the tremendous strength and endurance needed to perform them, just think what they can actually do to help burn fat, shed extra pounds and boost your metabolism even with a few tries! No wonder many fitness pros attribute their muscle gain in a just a short span of time to pull ups.

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Stand directly below an overhead exercise bar.
  2. Extend your arms and grasp the bar with both hands using a wide grip.

Execution

  1. Pull your body upward with your arms until your chin is about the same level as the bar.
  2. Simultaneously bend your knees and cross your legs at the ankles behind you.

Return

Lower your body down by extending your arms and relaxing your shoulders.

Repeat

 
Have these steps helped you perform pull ups better? Share your experience and add your comments below.

How to do Prisoner Forward Lunge

Instructions

Preparation

Stand straight and lace your fingers behind your head, so that your arms are in a “prisoner” position.

Execution

Lunge your right foot forward so that your right knee forms a right angle to the floor and your left knee dips toward the floor. Make sure the your right knee does not go beyond the line of your toes and your left knee does not touch the ground.

Return

Step your right foot back to its original position next to your left foot.

Repeat

Execute these 2 steps a few times and do the same on the other side.

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How to do Narrow Push Ups

Push ups are not just one of the most practical exercises you can do for your abdominals; they are also one of the most flexible as you can easily vary them, depending on which muscle groups you specifically want to target.

For this segment, we provide you with step by step instructions on how to do narrow push ups. Narrow push ups differ from wide push ups by the placement of your hands. In wide push ups, your hands are more spread far apart. With narrow push ups, your hands are placed more inward closer to your chest.

This puts added weight to your arms when you lift your upper body away from the floor. Consequently, this allows to build your arms muscles specifically your triceps as well as your shoulders.

Like other push ups, narrow push ups effectively train your chest with each rep you do. To fully achieve this, you will have to keep your back straight and the buttocks part stationary at all times.

By increasing your strength and endurance in the chest and arms areas, this exercise serves as a great complement to other abs exercises in your routine such as resistance training, which requires heavy weight lifting.

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Lie on the floor, face down.
  2. Position your hands on the floor and pull them in slightly so they are on each side of your chest, palms facing down.
  3. Flex your feet, so your body is parallel to the floor, your elbows are bent, and your toes are touching the ground.

Execution

Extend your arms and lift your weight upward. Keep your abdominal muscles taut, and your upper body and legs as straight as possible.

Return

Lower your body back to the floor.

Repeat

What do you find most challenging with this exercise? Let us know and add your feedback below.