The great Indian summer is here, and how! Which means the lesser and lighter we wear the better. But with those stubborn layers of tummy fat, can you dare to?

Most people shy away from abs workouts because the fat doesn’t seem to go, no matter what. However, an abs workout is a must, and not just because you can bare your midriff.

Here are 5 reasons why you should warm up to abs exercises and the top 5 exercises that will help you achieve that taut tummy:

  1. To strengthen your core

According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2011, abdominal muscle exercises are known to increase strength and endurance of abdominal muscles. This makes you not just slimmer but also stronger.

Try Non-traditional crunchesab work out: crunches

We know crunches are painful and boring! But they work. Combine a few types of crunches, such as bicycle crunches or those on a ball, to add a little fun to your workout.

  1. To gain a stronger trunk

One of the main jobs of the abdominal or core muscles is to act as stabilisers for the trunk, providing support while aa person is squatting, lifting or moving about in general. Studies show that muscle fibre activation rates in the rectus abdominals, transverse abdominals, and internal and external obliques go higher during squats.

Try The Barbell Squatab work out: Barbell Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the barbell on the back of your shoulders. Lower your body towards the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Push through your heels to return to start position.

  1. To torch calories

One burns a lot of calories – as many as 200 during a 15-minute workout – since the body is moving quickly in a workout that targets the abs such as a kickboxing-based workout.

Try The Side-to-Side Crunch and Weaveside by side crunches

Stand with feet spread apart, knees bent and arms up on the guard. Quickly lean your upper body to the right, then come back through the center and lean to the left. Repeat in the other direction.

  1. To make your body more flexible

Experts say healthy and strong abs are able to resist external forces, flex, extend and rotate the body. You gain higher flexibility, which can be great for summers as one tends to do more outdoor activities.

Try The Towel Plank and Knee Inoutdoor activities

Get in a plank position with a towel placed under each ball of your foot, legs together. Bring your left knee in towards the right side of your chest, squeezing your abs. Straighten your right leg back out to full plank and repeat with the other leg. Next, draw both knees into your chest together and then slide your legs back out to full plank.

  1. To get a better posture

Working on your abs will help with spinal articulation and strengthening, physical training instructors say. 

Try The Pilates Rollup With a BallThe Pilates Rollup With a Ball

Lie down with a small ball under your heels, both arms extended over your head and palms facing towards each other. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor and continue to roll up by drawing in your abdominals, reaching up towards the feet. Keep your abdomen contracted and slowly roll down in a controlled movement.

Combine your workout with foods that torch belly fat to get the trimmest tummy ever and be bikini ready!

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Written by Roshini Gilbert

Roshini Gilbert

After a diligent workout plan helped her lose 30kg of post-pregnancy weight, chartered accountant Roshini Gilbert was inspired enough to go from tallying numbers to training others. A freelance personal trainer today, Roshini has been certified by the American Council on Exercises (ACE) for functional fitness and specialises in post-natal weight loss, exercises for low back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. She also has REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management. In HealthifyMe, Roshini has found a collaborator with a common cause – making people fit to live life to the fullest. Her assessment of how fit you are is based on three broad guidelines — stamina, body age (a person who looks way older than his age can’t be deemed healthy) and lifestyle (beware, those with bad eating habits and sedentary behaviour). Prepare yourself mentally first and then your body will follow, she says, of the opinion that if you want to change something about yourself then you need to challenge yourself to do it. Are you up for it?

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