Ab-solutely fabulous

They say the Holy Grail of fitness is a sexy set of abs. What is not so well- known is that everyone has a perfect six-pack underneath a layer of fat. Most people must first achieve a low level of body fat through diet and cardiovascular exercise before they begin seeing definition in the abdominal muscles.

If you’re eating a clean diet and doing plenty of cardio, add this simple routine to your workout and you should see results in a few weeks. This workout can be performed after a weights or cardio workout or just when you have an extra five minutes. If you do each repetition slowly, focusing on pulling with your abs, you will only have to do two or three sets of 20 in order to get results. If you can do hundreds of crunches, you’re doing them wrong.

Do these five workouts three to five times a week and you’ll be ready to hit the beach by summer!

(1) The Regular Crunch

Place your hands behind your head. You can also cross them over your chest or stretch them over your head. Using your abdominal muscles, pull your torso off the ground slowly, being careful not to pull on your neck. Keep your eyes on the ceiling. When your shoulder blades are off the ground, hold for one count, then go back down. You can also perform this exercise with your legs straight in front of you.

(2) The Sit Up

Assume the same position as the crunch, but have a friend hold your feet. Pull your body all the way up until your elbows touch your knees.

(3) The Oblique Crunch

Assume the same position as in the crunch, but twist your knees to one side. Pull your shoulder blades off the ground, concentrating on your oblique (side) muscles. After completing a set on one side, turn your knees to the opposite side and do another set.

(4) The Jackknife

Lie on your back with your legs extended and hands at your sides (easiest), behind your head (intermediate) or with arms extended alongside your ears (hardest). Simultaneously perform a crunch while pulling your legs up as close to 90 degrees as possible.

(5) The Bicycle

As you crunch, bring your left knee to your right elbow, then your right knee to your left elbow in a continuous motion.