The 6 Best Ab Exercises Around

These 6 best ab exercises are designed to be just those that'll make a difference. A few exercises that'll be the bread and butter of your ab workout routine.

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- 6 Best Ab Exercises -

1. Ab Bicycles

Another top ab exercise, this targets your oblique abdominal muscles along the sides of your body. To do it, first find an athletic mat or soft surface to lie on.

Place your hands behind your head and crunch together at your abs, bringing up one knee to touch your elbow. To do this you'll twist your body, working your obliques, and then turn your upper body to touch your other knee-to-other-elbow.


Ab bicycles are some of the 6 best ab exercises!


2. Knees Bent Crunches

Start lying on the floor, knees bent and hands behind your head. For the exercise, contract your abs (especially your upper abs) to lift your shoulders off the ground, up toward your knees.[1]

Then allow your shoulders to fall back to the floor. That's one repetition. This is a great beginner exercise that's not very difficult.

Keep the small of your back an the floor and be sure to keep your abs tense during the entire set of crunches. No wimping out and relaxing when you get back to the ground.


6 Best Ab Exercises- Knee bent crunches are a great way to workout your upper abs.


3. Reverse Sit-ups

This is like the regular sit-up, but negative, and works mostly your upper abs. Start on the ground with your knees bent and your chest touching your thighs, arms in front of you or behind your head.[2]

Keeping your trunk extended, lower yourself till your abs are tense and you can't lower yourself any more. Then bring yourself back up to a sitting position.

Keep the small of your back rounded and make sure the tension stays in your abs. If they stop tensing, you've gone too far. And keep your lower back rounded for support: this exercise can be dangerous for your lower back.

If you want to work lower on your abs with this exercise, move your feet farther away from your butt. Now try it!


6 Best Ab Exercises- Reverse sit-ups primarily target your upper abs.


4. Full Abdominal Crunch

For this exercise you'll be contracting all your abs. Start lying on your back, hands behind your head and knees pointing up.

Contract you abs from there, lifting your legs into the air and your shoulders off the ground. Keeping tension in your abs (and your legs and shoulders off the ground) for the whole set, contract your abs to the max bringing your head towards your knees.

Then, relax slightly back till your hips and shoulders almost touch the ground, and crunch again. Each crunch is one repetition.


6 Best Ab Exercises- These crunches work all your abdominal muscles at once.


5. Exercise Ball Crunches

Out of the 6 best ab exercises, using the exercise ball is the most versatile. Place your lower back on the ball and do crunches, alternating crunches, or get one of the half-balls to do bicycles on the floor.

If you want something even more intense, grab a dumbbell and hold it to your upper chest or forehead while doing crunches. You need to make yours workouts more intense as you get stronger, and using weights to do crunches on an exercise ball is the perfect way to do this.

Start off by placing your lower back on the ball, feet on the floor, and doing some basic abdominal crunches. Once you've got that down, add more weight for a more intense workout.


6 Best Ab Exercises- Exercise ball crunches add instability so that your abs work harder to keep you balanced.


6. Abdominal Knee Raises

For this exercise you'll be lifting your lower body with your abs. Start with your arms on parallel bars or at a knee raise station, with your legs hanging down vertically.

Contracting your abs, bring your knees up so that they're at a right angle with your hips, with your thighs parallel to the ground. Then, slowly let your legs down till your in the hanging position again. That's one repetition.

If you want a complete and structured six pack plan, check out my How to Get Abs e-book. It contains exact, step-by-step instructions for how to get ripped, with precise exercise and diet info. And it works great with the 6 best ab exercises!

Oh, and be sure to sign up for the e-zine Starting Strong to get monthly strength training, exercise, and diet tips e-mailed to you - and access to the free e-book Train Smart, Eat Smart: Exercise Nutrition Hacks!

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The 6 Best Ab Exercises
References:

1,2 Brungardt, Kurt. 1993. The Complete Book of Abs. New York: Villard Books. Pp. 129, 179.

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