It is every woman's dream to don that exquisite cocktail dress or bare an all-flat tummy in a designer saree or a lehenga, but very few realise that putting in all effort in crunching won't do the trick. Yes, ladies, crunches will not give you a flat stomach, you need to work on various parts of your abdominal region to shed those extra kilos and gain muscle mass. "You need to exercise your core in order to lose weight from the stomach area. Abdominal exercises when done in isolation are fruitless. Work on your core, it is very important," says Gaurav Sharma, Fitness Manager, Sports Fit, Vasant Kunj.
Core refers to various muscles in your abdominal region, your obliques, pelvic muscles, glutes, back muscles, your thighs and the hamstrings. We've put together five easy exercises that qualify as best ab workouts but you must work on your entire core as well.
This might look easy to perform but is equally difficult to pull off. It gives you that stinging ache in your abs and helps burn that belly fat. The drill is quite simple - lie flat on the ground, lift your legs up in the air and mimic a paddling movement. Begin by doing 25 paddles (both legs) in three sets. You can play around with the intensity, speed and the number of repetition. Another variation is the one where you place your hand behind your head and lift your torso up. Try touching your elbow to the opposite knee, keep repeating on both sides.
2. Leg Raises
Lie flat on ground, raise your leg up in the air to make a ninety degree angle with your body; take your leg back on the floor. Repeat 25 times, set of three.
3. Side Bends
These target those love handles, and let's be honest, a flat tummy is far from reality without losing those love handles. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend side-ways keeping your spine straight. You can also team the exercise with a 5kg dumbbell to get better results. Begin by doing 30 on each side, set of three.
4. V Sit-Ups
This is probably one of the easiest ways to work your core and sculpt your abs. A word of caution - it takes a lot to perfect this flab-killer. Lie down on the ground, take your arms behind your head and now lift your body up along with your legs. Try touching the tip of your feet with your hands while your body makes a 'V'. Begin by 3 sets of 10, gradually increase the number of reps.
5. Russian Twists
Sit down on the floor and make a 'V' with your body keeping your legs in the air but bent. Join your hands and rotate from one side to the other. You can also hold a dumbbell or a weight plate in your hand while doing the exercise for better results. Begin by doing 3 sets of 20 reps.
A well-rounded fitness regime is a must to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In case you don't like going to the gym, you can try other ways of physical activity such as yoga, aerobics, martial arts, sports and even dancing. Keep active, stay fit and keep obesity at bay.