What Are The Best Exercises For Abs? Here Are The Top Nine Abdominal Exercises.
Choosing the best all time exercises for abs is no easy task. There is a lot of research involved. Let’s see you can’t very well go to your local gym and ask the guy with the best abdominals how he goes about working stomach out. And how he maintains washboard like abdominals.
Nor can you find the answer by studying facts and figures on abdominal workouts in an encyclopedia. And you certainly can’t just stay up late every night and watch Tony Little act like a nervous tick on speed as he spouts out the benefits of the exercises for abs on the ab machine of the month – the be all and end all answer to every ab problem.
The answer is: There are no best exercises for abs for everyone as we are all different and react differently to abdominal workout. I’m providing nine abdominal exercises in an order which may or may not be hierarchical, depending on what you value on a gut level. But any and all of these ab exercises can and will add detail to the muscles which are located in the place known as the six pack, beer gut or pot belly depending on the level of adipose or lack thereof. Whether you see the muscle immediately or not, these abdominal exercises will certainly decrease your belly fat.
The Top Nine Exercises For Abs.
1. The Crunch – Please visit my stomach crunches page for a more detail explanation of the abdominal crunch.
2. The Lying Leg Raise – I feel this is one of the most effective ab isolators and, while it is a little more difficult than the crunch, it is still performable by almost any level of trainer. Lie on the floor on your back. With your palms down under the small of your back for support, lift your legs until they form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Then slowly lower them to the start position. Beginners can let their legs and feet touch the floor after each rep to regain their composure, but intermediate and advanced trainers should try to keep their legs from touching the floor between reps.
3. The 1/4 Sit-Up, Legs Raised – This exercises for abs combines the time proven results of the sit-up with the applied intelligence of the crunch. It actually mocks the positioning of the crunch with legs over a bench, but because of the balance necessary, it is just different enough to provide a distinct feel.
While lying on your back, lift your legs off the floor, forming a 90-degree angle between your thighs and torso, and also a 90-degree angle between your calves and thighs. Then, with hands behind your head (or wherever you feel comfortable), perform as much of a sit up as you can. Depending on the configuration of your body, you will do little more than a crunch movement, but it’s the idea of sitting up from that position that counts.
4. The Hanging Leg Raise – This abdominal exercise is a phenomenal one in terms of what it can do for the belly. The main problem is that it’s pretty darn hard to execute. Having enough strength to complete a few reps of this physical challenge makes it an intermediate to advanced level chore from the start, but it works. Take a relatively wide grip on a chin up bar, and while hanging with legs straight, lift your legs to form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Then lower your legs and repeat. It’s important to keep your body from swinging excessively while repping, so if possible have a partner stand behind you and brace your back during initial experiments with this one.
5. The Reverse Crunch – Again please visit my stomach crunches page where I go trough all of the different ab crunches more in depth.
6. The Ab Training Machine – Almost every gym has at least one abdominal machine. You sit upright with a pad against your chest and bend forward at the waist, moving your chest toward your lap. There are several variations. Some require you to lock your legs into the bottom of the machine with your hands behind your head and pull your body together into a fetal-like position. Some are upright and some prone. Any of these machines can be used effectively. In fact, most body men and women opt for the ab machine in some form or other in their quest for six pack abs.
The important thing to remember when using abdominal crunch machines is to use only as much weight as is necessary to add resistance. You are not trying to see how much you can max on an ab machine. Use a light weight and perform the exercises for abs by contracting muscles. Do not pull with your arms or employ excessive body motion. Just use the abs, remember you are working stomach out. I’ve seen plenty of guys work their belly by struggling through a heavy set of triceps pushdowns than while doing actual exercises for abs. So train the muscles, not the movement.
7. Kneeling rope crunch – Yep you guessed it, another form of the crunch which I discuss in my stomach crunches page 😉
8. Knee Ups – This exercise can be performed off the bench or in an apparatus designed specifically for it. Sit on the end of the bench with your butt barely on it and your hands holding the bench for balance. Lift your knees towards your chest as high as possible. They will not reach your chest, but don’t worry. And do not try to lean your chest forward to reach your knees. That doesn’t make it a better rep. Simply complete the movement in that short range of motion. This exercises for abs requires a slightly quicker rep speed than most but that is no excuse not to feel it or move up and down just to complete the rep. This is one of the most popular exercises for abs in France. It is slightly similar to the hanging leg raise, but easier, so those finding the hanging exercises to be a real drag can get grounded and try to earn their wings at a later date.
9. The Sit Up – It’s the mother of exercises for abs. Without it who knows, maybe no one would have six pack abs. But unlike fine wine, the situp didn’t really improve with age. It didn’t rot, but it has fermented a little too long. Instead the sit up has evolved into a diamond-like existent with as many tangential variations and improvements. Sure, people still do the sit up, and many who do and swear by it have abs to die for.
You can do situps lying on the floor with bent knees and lift the body all the way up. You can do them on a decline bench. You can do them on an ab board (with varying levels of incline). There are many variations of situps as there are excuses for not doing them. Even though I’m not a big fan of the sit up, there is one variation which I feel is very easy and also very effective. It is primarily for beginners and involves using either a decline bench or an ab board. Instead of hooking the legs at the top of the bench and allowing gravity to enforce its laws against you, lean against it with your feet flat on the floor and your head at the top of the bench. This decreases the intensity but allows for a full range of motion and the completion of numerous reps because of performance ease. Easy, yes, but it still really works the abs. Once you’re in position simply bring your torso from a 45-degree angle position to the floor (essentially an incline bench sitting angle) to an upright 90-degree angle or slightly beyond. Then lower yourself till your back is on the bench.
As is the case with all other exercises for abs, contraction and concentration is the key. Don’t simply go through the motions and expect results. Concentrate on the business at hand, namely abs, and soon you’ll be ab-fab too.
And So Goes The Top Exercises For Abs
The evolution of abdominal exercises has progressed along with the evolution of man. As man has become more learned and creative, so have his ideas about exercises for abs. But in the end, the simplistic approach and careful analysis of what makes the abs work has causes the world to sit up and take note that it’s crunch time if you desire the ultimate in a tight six pack waistline.
Here are more good exercises for abs