Keep in mind that your goal is not simply to train your abs - great ab muscles will not show through a thick layer of belly fat - your goal is to build overall lean mass and reduce the amount of fat your carry.
1. Squats is one of the most basic compound exercise for developing strength and mass in the legs. But it is also one of the best compound exercises for stimulating a metabolic response for a better fat burning workout.
Barbell Squats Technique & Execution
- Set up your barbell with weights on the squat rack at an appropriate height suitable for you
- Step under it so that it rests across the back of your shoulders - hold on to the bar to balance it, and lift it up from the squat rack, and take a step away
- Keep your head up looking forward, feet shoulder width apart, and back straight, bend your knees and lower yourself until your thighs are about parallel with the floor
- Push yourself back up to starting position
- A wider stance works the inside of the thighs to a greater degree and a narrower stance works the outer thighs more
2. Barbell clean and press is another one of my favorites, that I think should be part of any workout program. Multiple muscle groups are needed to perform this tough exercise, and it will help to develop strength and power.
Barbell Clean and Press Technique & Execution
- Start in a squatting down position, leaning forward to grab hold of the barbell with an overhand grip
- Pushing with your legs, lift the weight up from the floor, up to shoulder level, and tuck your elbows in and under to support the weight, which would now be in a military press position
- Press the weight up overhead, then bring it back down to shoulder level
- Reverse the cleaning motion to bring the weight back down to the floor
3. Deadlift is one of the best power exercises that involves more muscles than any other exercise. Deadlift is a compound exercise that you should include in your training program.
When performing the deadlift exercise, always keep your back tight and straight, with your head up, looking forward - arching your back will place undesirable stress on your spinal column and lower back. When you maintain a straight back, the vertebrae are all in alignment with no unequal stress placed on any point of your spine, thus reducing the risk of injury.
Deadlift Technique & Execution
- Place a barbell on the floor in front of you
- Bend your knees and lean forward with your arms extended to grasp the barbell
- Keep your back straight, and head up looking forward - do not curve your back
- Begin the lift by driving with the legs, and straighten up until you are standing straight
- Then lower the weight by bending your knees and leaning forward returning to the starting position
4. Captain's chair leg raises is one of the most effective ab exercises that directly targets your abdominals and the obliques. It is performed on a rack with padded arms for support, and allows your legs to hang free. There are also several variations that you can perform. When performing captain's chair leg raises, remember to avoid using momentum to swing your legs - use strict form.
- Position yourself on the apparatus, and grip the handholds to stabilize your upper body, and letting your legs hang free below you
- Contract your ab muscles, raise your legs, and bring your knees toward your chest
- For variations, you can also do this same movement and twist slightly to the side to put more stress on your obliques
- You can also perform this with your legs complete straight, and bring your feet up as high as possible for increased difficulty
We'll continue with the remaining ab exercises in next part.