Do you want a great ab workout that will burn fat and help you get a flat belly fast? Ab circuit workouts are more challenging, which will help you burn fat and get strong, flat abs. A circuit workout is fast-paced, moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest between sets. You can design your own ab circuit workout if you don't belong to a gym or have access to a personal trainer.
Women and Muscle Building
Don't worry about building bulky muscles or getting a bulging six-pack. Women don't build muscle in the same way or as quickly as men. Men build muscle more quickly and get bulkier because they have more testosterone than women, which is required to build bulky muscles. Regular exercise, including strength training, can help women to firm, tone and sculpt their bodies. You can build big muscles and get a six-pack, but you need to train on a regular basis with heavier weights and continually challenge your muscles to adapt and grow stronger.
Focus on Form
If you are a beginner, you're probably not familiar with the proper form when doing any exercise. Focus on the position of your body and the muscles that you're training when doing an exercise. Proper form is not only important to maximize results, but it is also essential to avoid injury. Maintain proper form and balance by using the correct lifting technique. Perform each exercise in a slow, controlled manner and never allow momentum to do the work for you. A personal trainer at your gym can instruct you and demonstrate how to perform each exercise. Beginners should not attempt a new exercise before receiving instruction on correct form.
Warm-up and Cooldown
Always warm up before you begin a circuit workout and cool down after your workout. Warm up with five minutes of cardio to get your blood flowing, increase your breathing and break a light sweat. Warming up prepares your muscles for more strenuous exercise and may reduce your risk of injury. Cool down after your workout for five minutes by doing some light cardio or walk until your heart rate returns to normal.
Rest for one minute between each exercise when doing an abdominal circuit. Do at least five to eight repetitions of each exercise in your circuit or as many as 20 repetitions, depending on your fitness level. Start with crunches, which work all of your abdominal muscles and are easy to perform. Use variations of the crunch -- such as dumbbell supine toe touches -- to make it more challenging and avoid the monotony of doing the same exercise over and over. Or, work your obliques by performing side twists. Move to your lower abs with double-leg drops and scissor kicks. Finish with a one-minute static plank hold and then do some side plank crunches.
Adding abdominal exercise variations to your circuit routine will challenge your body to continually adapt and grow stronger. Try some crunches on a stability ball to target your core and stabilizing muscles. Resistance bands or dumbbells can also be part of your abdominal circuit workout. Add dumbbells to your abdominal ball workout to increase resistance, or throw in some horizontal woodchops using a resistance band. Wrap the band around a sturdy object, grip the handles with both hands and pull horizontally across your body at chest level, keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.