No matter what your strategy, clean eating and intelligent cardio need to be in place. They are key ingredients to the overall “look”. You can do all the ab work in the world and have the strongest core….but, if you have poor body composition (bodyfat), one cannot see the muscle. Diet really is THE key point; coinciding with smart cardio, good bodywork, and an overall “fitting” exercise plan.
So start with a balanced nutrition plan (including cals in/cals out formula) along with smart cardio…..and please don’t forget (or instruct clients) to stand tall while doing it all (posture adds to a good lookin’ physique and overall self-esteem); then let those abs shine on through. Work them and let them work for you!
In wellness, Joy
If you subscribe to the notion that we all have similar abdominal musculature underneath, and the real issue is how much body fat covers them, then I say that the best “exercise” for this goal is aerobic exercise. While I TOTALLY agree that diet is extremely important to this goal as well, I don’t consider diet an exercise so am not including that in my answer. That being said, the two-headed monster of aerobic exercise and diet will help those abs that you already have shine through.
Considering that you do have a healthy diet and that you are including intelligent cardio (love that Joy!) into your workouts, I would suggest incorporating weights along with your abdominal exercises.
I have found that by adding weights to your exercises, you tax your muscles with more emphasis and speed up your results plus it is less boring.
Less boring because you get to use a variety of different equipment such as dumbbells, weight plates, medicine balls, barbells, etc…..
I would include weighted saxon bends, bicycle crunches, and russian twists.
I personally follow up with the best abdominal strength exercises (in my opinion)
the forward and side plank.