10 best muscle-building ab exercises

Let’s come clean from the start: We’re not here to sell you on the single “best ab exercise ever.” Too many organizations and authors have tried that, and the profusion of “winners” out there can make it confusing—especially because the studies backing them are always limited in one way or another. Weight loss journey A few years ago, it was the bicycle crunch. L carnitine weight loss how to take Then it was the traditional crunch. Weight loss 4 pills reviews Then it was the pike, the plank, the roll-out… 2 month weight loss workout plan We could go on.

Instead, we’ve put together a full slate of top-level choices in no particular order, along with some explanation about what make each one great and the research backing them up, when available. Weight loss clinics that take insurance When building this list, we considered bodyweight and loaded exercises, EMG studies, anti-rotation movements, and much more so that no ab exercise was left behind. How to lose weight upper body That said, it’s time to meet the creme de la creme of the core!

Why it made the list: There are many reasons to like leg raise variations, but one is their scalability. Exercises to burn fat at home You can start doing bent knee raises in the Roman chair or ab straps to focus on the lower core, work up to straight leg raises, and then move to a hanging bar. Paleo diet weight loss one month By the time you can do full straight-leg toes-to-bar raises, your entire core will have strength for days.

That’s not the only way to progress, though. Exercise tv shows You can also increase the degree of difficulty by holding a medicine ball between your knees or ankles, which allows you to train in a lower rep range. Paleo diet information No matter the variation, get your legs as high as possible on each rep without using momentum to swing them up.

In your workout: Do this move first or second in your routine for 3 sets of 10-15 reps. How to lose weight with pcos and diabetes If using a medicine ball, try a dropset simply by letting go of the medicine ball when you hit failure. Exercise for back pain 2. Exercise videos on hulu Machine Crunch

Why it made the list: In our opinion, ab exercises with added resistance don’t get enough love! They spur growth in the fast-twitch fibers like almost nothing else, and they can really build up the “bricks” of your six-pack. Weight loss in cats By adjusting the load, you can also train to failure at just about any rep target you want. Diet foods india A pin-loaded machine also works well when doing dropsets.

In your workout: This works great as one of the first exercises in your ab routine. Exercise schedule template Use a challenging weight for a lower rep target. L glutamine weight loss Of course, it also works with lighter weight as a burnout at the end. Symptoms of low carb diet In either case, do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.

Why it made the list: This increasingly popular movement trains your abs to do what they’re supposed to do: stabilize your skeleton. D angelo weight loss Pallof presses serve as an anti-rotation movement, meaning the body is actively fighting rotation throughout the motion. Exercise clipart black and white By utilizing exercises like this, you can increase core stability in various planes of movement and reduce likelihood of injury.

There are many ways you can do this move, even including a Pallof press with rotation, but most start at a cable stack with a D-handle just below shoulder height. Best diet for pcos and insulin resistance Grab the handle in two hands, take 4-5 steps away from the pulley, and turn so that your side is facing the plate stack. Exercise challenge for weight loss Without rotating at the hips, press the D-handle straight out, and return back to center; all the while, you’ll fight against turning toward the pulley. Weight loss diet plan for men Be sure to maintain a neutral spine and keep your shoulders down during the entire pressing motion.

In your workout: There’s no need to go heavy here; all it will do is compromise the quality of the move. How to lose belly fat fast and easy at home Do these after your most difficult ab move of the day, and use a weight that allows you to manage 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side. Exercise intolerance thyroid 4. Exercise equipment stores near me Kneeling Cable Crunch

Why it made the list: The primary strengths of this crunch variation are its versatility—you can do it on any cable stack—and the way it allows you to use any level of resistance to train for a target rep range. Weight loss without surgery Still, lots of people perform them wrong.

First off, it’s easy to sit back while doing this move, letting your hip flexors do much of the work. Exercise tv pilates Second, if you keep a flat back, it limits the degree to which you can hit the upper abdominals—your back has to round! And finally, your hands should stay in the same relative position next to your head for the duration of the set. Weight loss tips tumblr Letting them drift away on the eccentric and then pulling them back again beside your head brings a lot of shoulder and upper body into the move.

In your workout: This is another good first or second exercise that can be done for a low-to-moderate number of reps. Weight loss vision board Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps. Exercise and depression a review of reviews To do a dropset, just change the pin when you reach muscle failure. Protein diet meal plan to lose weight 5. Decline-Bench Crunch With Medicine Ball

Why it made the list: Decline-bench crunches amp up the challenge by increasing the range of motion over standard crunches, and you can dial up (or down) the degree of difficulty by adjusting the angle of the bench. Weight loss 101 Adding a medicine ball or weight plate against your chest adds a further level of customizable resistance. Weight loss meditation podcast This also allows you to manipulate where you want to fail: low, medium, or high reps.

But you can still go wrong. Exercise at home program Because your feet are hooked, it’s all too easy to pull through your thighs. Best diet for fat loss Nor do you want to go all the way down to rest on the bench between reps; stay well off it. Weight loss yoga youtube If you’re not feeling a wicked burn, drop all the weight, put your hands on your belly, and really focus on the contraction at a slower pace. Weight loss doctors utah You can also introduce a cross-body movement, angling your elbow to the opposite-side thigh, to better engage the obliques.

In your workout: Position this one in your routine after you’ve built up some fatigue from a really challenging first exercise. Low carb diet grams Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps. How to lose weight in a day for free If you find 15 reps too easy, simply increase the angle of decline, or use a heavier ball or plate. Paleo zucchini brownies 6. Paleo hamburger buns Squat

Why it made the list: Yes, a leg exercise made the top 10 list for abs. 3 day protein diet Anyone who has ever pushed their potential in the squat knows exactly why! Sure, squat variations work the legs and lower back, but they also crush the abs. Losing weight meme Both front and back squats force your abs and spinal erectors to work overtime to maintain a neutral, upright position. Paleo diet basics If both were not firing at high rates, you’d fold under the weight or drop in a split second.

Oh, and forget what you heard about standing on a BOSU ball to increase the work of your stabilizers. Paleo grocery list Research has shown that if you just go heavy with your squats on the floor, you’ll get all the ab stimulus you want.[1]

One recipe for a great midsection is to do your squats on leg day, whether the bar’s in front of your torso or behind.

In your workout: Regularly implement both back and front squats into your program. Protein diet for weight loss To keep it from becoming mundane, you can rotate through them in four-week waves, or alternate weeks between back and fronts. Paleo diet grocery list for beginners It’s best to do your focused ab training on a day after your heavy training days for the week. Losing weight on zoloft The last thing you want is residual soreness that forces you to decrease the weight on the bar. How to lose weight using honey 7. Decline Russian Twist With Medicine Ball

Why it made the list: This harder version of the Russian twist works the obliques while requiring the upper abs to contract isometrically. Paleo diet examples To recruit the obliques, you either need lateral flexion (bending to your side), trunk rotation (twisting), or sucking in your belly. Paleo diet and cholesterol Doing your twists works the trunk-rotation function of the muscle, so really focus on the contraction. Exercise list to do at home Try to get a little crunch on either side after the rotation to up the ante.

Your biggest danger here is letting your arms wave across your body and out of line with your torso. Paleo enchiladas Turn at the waist, not your shoulders. Youtube exercise ball In addition, avoid pulling through your thighs (hip flexors) on the decline bench here as well.

Your upper abs are contracting to maintain your body position, while the rotation involves the obliques.

In your workout: Do this exercise toward the middle of your routine for 3 sets of 15 reps per side. How to lose weight with pcos and insulin resistance Increase the degree of difficulty by increasing the angle of the bench or using a heavier ball. How to lose weight vegetarian 8. Ways to lose weight quickly Ab-Wheel Roll-Out

Why it made the list: Those infomercials got one thing right! Some EMG data suggests that using an ab wheel may beat out hanging leg raises, sit-ups, and reverse crunches for the top muscle activator. Effects of low carb diet This movement capitalizes on the concept of anti-extension perfectly; as you roll out, your trunk must actively fire (eccentric motion) to maintain a neutral spine without collapsing under your body weight and gravity.[2] Watch that you don’t risk your back by allowing it to droop into extension at the bottom, though!

In your workout: Build up to 3 sets of 8-12 reps, rolling all the way out and back. 7 day military diet plan If you can’t do all the reps prescribed, reduce the distance, then slowly work to extend it over a few weeks. Weight loss articles Once you feel confident starting from your knees, the next level of difficulty is going from your toes. Exercise guide for beginners 9. L carnitine weight loss studies Exercise-Ball Pike

Why it made the list: It turns out the ball is good for more than just sitting and waiting for your partner to finish his set! A research team from California State, Sacramento demonstrated that the pike movement is one of the most effective total-ab workouts.[3] It topped their EMG list for upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. How to lose belly fat youtube This movement may be the heavy hitter that’s been missing from your daily routine. Diet food delivery manila While not exactly the same, the pike can also be done using a TRX system with similar results expected.

In your workout: Since it targets a large degree of the muscle mass of the abdomen, the pike can either be used to get your routine started or as a really brutal way to finish it out. Paleo diet app free Shoot for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. C exercises If you can’t complete reps with good form, start with exercise-ball knee-ups. Weight loss hair loss 10. Slow carb diet food list Plank

Why it made the list: The plank is an isometric hold that really focuses on the core. Losing weight breastfeeding According to the EMG sources we checked, this movement is a mid-tier activator of both the rectus abdominis and obliques.[3] It’s also a great transverse abdominis move, but that muscle is deep, so can’t be measured by EMG.

We put this on the list because of how easy it is to manipulate the degree of difficulty. Paleo 2015 If a regular plank is too easy for you, lift an arm, or a leg—or an arm and a leg. Losing weight on paleo Put your feet into a TRX and give that a whirl. Calories to lose weight calculator by date Still too easy? Take your feet out, and put your forearms in. Diet plan to lose weight fast in 1 week Each one of these progressions leads to a greater training stimulus to the abs.

In your workout: You can do these last on ab day, but you can also do them at home just about any time you want. Exercise tiger documentary Since it’s an isometric move, shoot for time rather than reps. Losing weight but not fat Doing 3-5 sets of 30-90 seconds in whatever variation is toughest for you should get you shaking!

• Willardson, J., Fontana, F. Best diet to lose weight in a week E., & Bressel, E. Cinnamon and weight loss studies (2009). E exercises Effect of surface stability on core muscle activity for dynamic resistance exercises. How to lose weight pregnant International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 4(1), 97.

• Escamilla, R. Pregnancy and exercise benefits F., Babb, E., DeWitt, R., Jew, P., Kelleher, P., Burnham, T., … How to lose weight for wrestling & Imamura, R. How to lose weight with pcos without medication T. Paleo diet shopping list (2006). Can u lose weight by drinking water Electromyographic analysis of traditional and nontraditional abdominal exercises: implications for rehabilitation and training. Paleo diet coffee Physical Therapy, 86(5), 656-671.

• Escamilla, R. Low carb diet vegetables F., Lewis, C., Bell, D., Bramblet, G., Daffron, J., Lambert, S., … Weight loss team names for nurses & Andrews, J. Low carb diet percentage R. Military diet results after a month (2010). Weight loss journey tattoos Core muscle activation during Swiss ball and traditional abdominal exercises. Paleo diet list Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 40(5), 265-276.

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