I know, there’s a lot of advice out there…
My situation: male, 40’s, probably reasonable fitness for an office worker, and with steady BMI at the upper end of ‘normal’ - so no real ‘belly’ to get rid of, just a matter of being unconditioned. I’m at home in ‘lockdown’ for the next month or so, so don’t have access to gym equipment such as weights, bars to hang from, balls, etc - nor to a Trainer who can keep an eye on my technique. A further limiting factor is a weak shoulder (old sports injury), meaning I don’t think things like planks or the ‘mountain climbing’ exercises would be that suitable for me. No other health issues, and my diet’s healthy (fresh meat, fruit and veg, no takeaways).
I started a short exercise routine 3 weeks ago: basically alternating crunches with reverse crunches. Meaning (1) the ‘raise your shoulder blades off the floor’ crunch, and (2) ‘lift your legs to vertical and then raise your hips slightly off the floor’. I’ve worked 3 sets, with a 2 minute break between each set - now up to 25 crunches and 12 reverse crunches in a set. That’s a workout of approximately quarter of an hour, done consistently four days a week. When I eventually return to the office, I plan to continue the routine during a lunch break and can probably increase it to 20 minutes of exercise. Joining a gym’s not a priority though due to money and travel time.
I’ve noticed a firming of muscle tone, which I’m obviously pleased with. However, my key concern is I expect that I’m not targeting all abdominal muscle groups evenly, nor providing enough variety to ensure good progress in my goal towards a ‘defined’ abdomen.
So, my questions:
Which exercises do you recommend to add to or swap into my routine to benefit my whole ‘core’?
Could this 20 mins, 4 times a week routine realistically be enough on its own to reach a ‘defined’ flat stomach, or should I consider other measures (diet, cardio work)?