Does the 8 Minute Abs workout really work? It is difficult to find the time for exercise in today's fast-paced, multi-tasking world. But are the images of the famous 6-pack attainable with just 8 minutes of work a day? Let's find out.
Anatomy of Abs
You have probably heard talk of upper abs and lower abs, suggesting that they are actually two different muscles. In actuality, the abdominal muscles cannot be separated. While you may use different parts of your abdominal muscles while performing varying movements, it is really just one muscle. The rectus and transverse abdominus, and internal and external oblique muscles are all connected. Each area should receive specific focus during exercise to achieve that sought after six-pack look.
The most prominent section of your abdominal muscle is the rectus abdominus. It extends down the center of your stomach from just under your rib cage to your pubic bone. It is responsible for creating the vertical and horizontal lines that outline your six pack abs. A basic crunch will work this muscle effectively. Lying flat on your back, raise the upper part of your body while keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor. Some people perform 100's of crunches a day.
The transverse abdominus is the area of your abs that runs around your waist horizontally. It acts like a belt and gives the appearance of drawing your waist in, making it smaller. The plank exercise will help to target this area. Lying horizontally, face down, lift yourself up on your toes and forearms. Keep your body in alignment with the floor and remain there, while holding your core tightly for at least 20 seconds. This exercise can be repeated and extended as your body grows stronger.
Internal and External Obliques
Internal and external oblique muscles work together when you are performing regular crunches and sit-ups. Because they run along the side of your body, they are most effectively worked when you add a twising motion to your exercise. Crunches done on an exercise ball will work your obliques when you add a twisting motion at the top, alternating right and left each repetition. Start with 3 sets of 12 reps and add as your abs get stronger.
Multitude of Exercise Options
The spine can move in many different directions - forwards, backwards, side bend to the left, side bend to the right, etc. There are countless variations of these movements that can be combined to add resistance to your ab muscles and cause them to grow and become stronger. Each one of these exercises begin to work after only a small number of reps. Even if you focus on each area of your abdominals separately, you will still be able to achieve a satisfactory workout in just 8 minutes a day.
Exercise Alone May Not Be Enough
While just 8 minutes a day may be enough time to put into exercising your abs, it won't be enough to show a six pack. You may be building beautiful muscle but still hiding it under a layer of fat. A diet filled with lean meats, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates is necessary to peel that layer of fat and alllow your muscles to appear. That, along with cardio exercise will show the world the strength and power of your mid section.