Regardless of where you may be in the world, what time of the year it is or even your gender, the need to transform a flabby tummy into something you can be proud of seems to be on every workout fanatic’s list.
Perhaps you feel the need to fit your booty into the infamous yellow, polka dot bikini by the time summer rolls around. As a guy, you may want to strut your stuff shirtless, and show off all the hard work you’ve put into sculpting your perfect abs.
Whatever the reason, you may be all too aware of the infamous ‘8-minutes ab workout,’ consisting of eight minutes’ worth of slow, core-crunching exercises, leaving you feeling relatively exhausted after the final movements.
While this may seem like a great workout regime to get your summer body in gear, eight minutes may not be enough to get you where you want to be.
You may need a little extra help to feel confident in that department. After all, the last thing you want is to put so much time and effort into sculpting your abs only to discover that your abs are still hidden underneath pesky rolls of tummy cushioning.
Instead, why not incorporate a few extra exercise options to get your blood pumping and your muscles toned, giving you the confidence to flaunt your abs however you please.
1. Go for a brisk walk
This particular exercise option can be done before attempting the 8-minutes abs workout to get your muscles warmed up and your head in the game.
However, the great thing about taking a brisk walk is that you don’t have to do it alone! Consider the company of your dog to keep things interesting, and who knows, you may even bump into someone interesting on the way.
2. Purchase a bicycle
Definitely an exercise option for those wanting to spend some time outdoors, looking for a combined leg and abs workout.
Always remember to wear protective gear to keep your head and joints safe in the unlikely event of falling off your bicycle. Don’t be afraid to venture out into the woods, getting away from the hustle and bustle of a busy city. Who knows, it may even become your new best hobby.
3. Take to the deep end
Swimming not only gives you the opportunity to work on your natural tan, but is a great, low-impact workout—especially if you already have trouble with your joints.
This type of exercise regime can benefit individuals of all ages, giving you the opportunity to cool off after a strenuous eight-minutes ab workout. Remember to wear your swimming cap, if you choose a public swimming pool, to avoid unnecessary contamination.
4. Try a lengthy jog
Purchase quality sneakers, with adequate arch support, and book yourself an hour or two to collect your mind on the open road.
Not only is this great for clearing your head and releasing some accumulated stress, but it gives your abs the type of workout they deserve. Remember to pace yourself if you’re new at jogging to prevent unnecessary injuries, forcing you to take an unfortunate backseat while your body takes time to heal.
5. Do exercise ball crunches
Great for developing your balancing skills, don’t beat yourself up too much if you find yourself falling over more often than not trying to stay on the ball. It’s normal in the beginning stages if your ab muscles are a little bit weaker than expected. So, go on and give exercise ball crunches a try.
Lie on your back against the inflatable ball, with your hands behind your head, crunching forward and lifting your torso up to where you’re almost in an upright position. Repeat this process three times, doing 12-16 repetitions. If you’re feeling daring, you can even double the repetitions to add to the workout. Remember to breathe!
6. Implement CrossFit
Although this is a gruelling, military type of exercise option, CrossFit tones your overall physical physique—not just your abs.
After all, if you’re going to work out, you might as well go all out. Besides, there will be time somewhere in between your CrossFit workouts where you’ll be doing at least eight minutes of intense ab workouts—if not more—making every minute worthwhile!
7. Don’t forget cardio kickboxing
If you’re not big into fighting, don’t worry. Cardio kickboxing isn’t meant to put you in the fighting ring, ready for fight night.
This particular style of kickboxing incorporates a lot of cardio with a few self-defence skills. It’s perfect for any woman who wants to tone a few muscles and learn how to kick someone in the shins if need be. Besides, if you can fit both into one workout, why not?
8. Go on a hike
Some fresh air may do you some good while incorporating an adventurous hike while you’re at it. Not only will you be focusing on your calves, upper legs and booty, but your abs will feel it the next morning.
It’s a great way to take in what nature has to offer while giving your whole body an excellent workout. Remember to pack water, and tell your loved ones where you’re going in case you get lost.
When it comes to achieving your dream abs, dedication and hard work are key—along with having an adequate amount of fun in order to keep going.
Sadly, only doing the ‘8-minutes ab workout’ won’t be enough to shed the stubborn fat around your belly. Sure, you will benefit from it in the long run. In fact, you may even be ripped underneath that little layer of fat without even knowing it. However, only doing crunches won’t rid you of stubborn fat.
The only way you can shed the pounds for good is by adding some cardio into your eight minutes workout. The minute you’ve stripped yourself of the stubborn cushioning by implementing the above-mentioned suggestions, you’ll be toning and defining your ab muscles due to the eight minute crunches and sit-ups added onto your favorite workout routine.
The key to any workout success is to keep going—even when the crunches get painful or when you have two reps left to go of your exercise ball crunches.
You may feel like giving up if you don’t see results straight away, in which case I have to warn you that if you decide to take on a strenuous workout routine or activity such as CrossFit, that it’ll seem as if you’re gaining weight instead of toning. This is a normal process your muscles will go through, caused by inflammation.
However, if you keep going, normally passing the three-month mark, you’ll see your body changing—shedding the excess swelling around your muscles. By this time, your abs will appear, reflecting the hard work you’ve put in.
Remember, you look as healthy as you feel. By feeling healthy, you’re able to implement a simple 8-minutes abs workout along with the necessary cardio to boost your body confidence—and, ultimately, show off your killer ‘8-minutes abs!’