10 minutes to toned abs

Kim Droze

Ten minutes... 15 to 20 reps... no equipment...

That’s all it takes to sculpt your sagging stomach. Forget about costly gym memberships that'll never be used. Don’t even think about expensive equipment that'll quickly become a dusty coat rack.

It’s time to get down to belly busting business by following the three D’s!

Decide, Define and Develop.

Decide! You need to make the decision that this is important. Set it as a goal. Practice mentally so you are committed to and aware of your desire and goal.

Define! You need to reduce body fat and do things to get yourself into lean, optimal health. That includes proper diet and cardiovascular exercise.

Develop! Develop the muscles of the body -- not just the abs, but the whole body.

Instead of focusing on the results while you are training, you should be concentrating on how you hold your body, how you breathe and how the muscles contract.

And contrary to popular belief, it's quality not quantity that counts in the long run. Focusing on the exercise at hand will increase the intensity so that you get maximum benefit from the move.

One of the most common obstacles people encounter on their journey to shaping up is the myths about ab training. If you’re one of those individuals who believe you need to perform 100 reps to firm your abs, you are in good company. It’s a fallacy that has been perpetuated throughout time. But the reality is that even for the best abs you only need to do 15 to 20 reps of an exercise, which takes 10 minutes tops, two to three times a week at most.

Use these three exercises to get started... and don’t exceed the maximum reps.

Basic crunch

­ Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the floor. Gently position your hands behind your head to support it, not to pull on it. Please do not lock your hands behind your head! You might find it comfortable to lie on a towel or an exercise mat.
­ Focus your mind on contracting the abdominal muscles before you even begin to lift your shoulders off the floor.
­ Contracting the abdominal muscles, curl the shoulders up and forward until the upper back starts to lift off the floor. Do not try to sit all the way up! Concentrate on flexing the abdominal muscles when you are lifting the shoulders up, imagining you’re trying to make a dent in the floor with your lower back, and let that contraction pull your shoulders off the ground. Hold the contracted position for a full two seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. Then simply repeat.

Training Tip: To increase the range of motion and to get even more ab work, try putting a rolled-up towel under your lower back.

Side crunch

­ Begin by lying down on the floor with your knees bent and your torso twisted so your left leg is lying flat on the floor but your upper body is still facing upward. Place your hands gently on the sides of your head.
­ Now, take a deep breath and begin contracting your abdominal muscles. Let that contraction slowly lift your upper body off the floor while you breathe out. As soon as your shoulders come slightly off the floor, try to hold that contracted position for a full count of “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.” Then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions in this position, and then reverse the position so your right leg is touching the floor and perform 12 to 15 more repetitions.

Training Tip: When you rotate your legs to the left, do not allow your upper body to rotate along with it. Keep your shoulders facing upwards.

Reverse Crunch

­ Begin by lying on your back, knees bent, and feet together, about six inches above the floor. Put your hands behind your head, like you would if you were getting ready to do an ab crunch.
­ Keeping your feet close to your hips, contract your abs while you slowly curl your lower body up toward your shoulders, gradually rolling your hips off the floor. Exhale when you contract the abs, so your rib cage will drop and allow for a more intense muscle contraction. Keep flexing the abs until your hips and lower back are just slightly off the floor. Hold that position for a count of two, and flex as hard as you can! Then slowly lower your hips back to the starting position, take a breath, and repeat. Keep in mind that the slower you do this exercise, the better it works.

Training Tip: One variation of this exercise I often perform simply involves placing the hands, palms down, by your hips. This is a bit harder and more intense.

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.