There are so many ab exercises out there and it’s difficult to pinpoint which are the best. I tell my clients that all ab exercises are great and to remember that doing abdominal exercises will not reduce fat in the midsection. Abdominal exercises will help to increase strength in your core and also tighten up the midsection. However, body fat will not be burned off in the abdominal region by doing 1,000 crunches a day! Body fat reduction will occur when caloric intake is reduced and cardiovascular work is intensified. Ab exercises are not to be done every day. Your abs are just like any other muscle group, they need to rest and recover after a hard workout. The abdominal muscles need to repair and grow in order to become stronger after being broken down. Rest is the key. Abs should be trained 2 to 3 times per week. Nothing more! So if you are doing crunches, leg lifts, and planks every day, stop this routine now. Spend that time doing more high intensity cardio bouts and cutting back on food and/or alcohol intake.
Now, time for the list of the 5 best ab exercises that I believe are the best for strengthening and shaping the abdominal muscles. A written description of each exercise is not adequate enough to properly describe each exercise. Therefore, I’ve provided a YouTube video on our YouTube channel. You must see each exercise demonstrated properly in order for you to perfrom them properly. Some of these exercises may be advanced for some of you, so be sure to be cautious yet confident when doing them. Good Luck!
- Leg Lift with a ball exchange from hands to feet.
- The Pike
- BOSU Crunches (If you do not have a BOSU, purchase one. It is a must have in your home gym)
- Bicycle Crunch
- The Plank using a Fit-Ball
When performing these exercises, as with all exercises no matter what the muscle group, be sure to use slow and controlled motions and always go though a full range of motion. Always try to contract or “squeeze” the abdominal muscles tight when crunching up or doing a plank. Form is most important when performing any exercise, especially the abs. You don’t want to over strain the low back and have an injury sideline you from working out for a few weeks. If the exercise becomes too tiring and your form starts to break, you should stop that set and rest.
These are my favorite ab exercises to do. You’ll hear differently from other health professionals and fitness enthusiasts, as with any other subject. All ab exercises are good as long as you are actually doing them properly and consistently. Please remember the most important information here. Ab exercises will help to strengthen and shape your abdominal muscles. These exercises will not burn fat in the midsection. Increase your cardio intensity and step away from the dinner table in order to decrease your body fat. The combination of proper nutrition and daily exercise will help you to get the abs you want.