Best Ab Exercises
What are some of the best ab exercises? Here's our answer!
From our collection of the best exercises, these are suitable for everyone. These exercises are also especially suitable for all.
While improving the functional strength of your midsection, you'll improve how you look and how you feel.
Additionally, improving the strength of your midsection is your best insurance against lower back pain. Please also notice our related pages on Core Exercise, Core Strength Exercises, Selecting Core Exercises, and the Best Ab Exercises for all.
So, let's look at what you first need to understand.
Before trying the best ab exercises
1. Have you eliminated any false beliefs you may have picked up about using ab exercises? Do you understand how training your midsection differs from training many of your other muscle groups? If not, please read our Core Strength Exercises web page. We list the many myths about midsection exercise as well as the key difference between core exercise and exercise for other body parts. You will find the link to that page awaiting you at the bottom of this page.
2. Do you understand how to warm-up your midsection or core? Do you understand how frequently to train? Do you understand how to select and perform the best ab exercises? If not, please read our core exercise web page. You will find the link to that page awaiting you at the bottom of this page.
3. Do you understand why multiple exercises are required and the best sequence for performing them? If not, please read our selecting core exercises web page. You will find the link to that page awaiting you at the bottom of this page.
Two of the best ab exercises for lower abs
Let's now cover two exercises for your lower abs.
1. The 4-point Transversus Abdominis Tuck is one of the best ab exercises.
If you have an exercise ("sticky") mat, use it. However, no special equipment is required for any of these initial four best ab exercises.
Initial position: Get down on the floor in a 4-point stance: position your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. The tops of your toes are on the floor straight behind your knees.
Movement: Inhale while you let your lower abdomen hang down towards the floor; hold for ten seconds. Then inhale while you draw your belly button towards your spine, holding the top position for ten seconds.
Do not contract any other muscles such as your buttocks or hamstrings during this exercise.
Take your time. Do half a dozen reps.
Initial position: Lie on your back on the floor (or an exercise mat). Let your arms lie comfortably on the floor at your sides. Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor with your heels about half a foot from your buttocks. Keep your knees pointing towards the ceiling.
Movement: Contract your lower abs while gently pressing your lower back towards the floor. Hold your back against the floor for ten seconds and then release and rest for ten seconds.
Take your time. Do half a dozen reps.
Do not contract your upper abs during this exercise. Be patient, this can be more difficult in the beginning that you might imagine.
If you want, you can fold a towel until it is about as thick as your hand and place it under your lower back. Doing so will help you feel the lower position of this exercise.
One of the best ab exercises for obliques
Side bends (side flexion) are one of the best ab exercises for the obliques. Since a weight is used, they are suitable for intermediate and master trainees as well as beginners.
Beginners should use a light dumbbell (or equivalent).
We recommend working up to an empty barbell in a power rack and then to a barbell loaded with plates. If you set the safety bars in a power rack properly while grasping a barbell in the middle and standing sideways in the rack, you'll be forced to keep the bar level. That won't happen if you simply use a dumbbell. (You may also use a low pulley on a cable system.)
Initial position: While standing with your feet together or comfortably close together, grasp a dumbbell or barbell in your right hand. Keep your hand next to the outside of your right leg with your palm facing the leg. Hold the dumbbell or barbell level to the floor. Put your left hand on your left hip and keep it there throughout the movement.
Movement: Pull your belly button in towards your spine and lean to the right. Without letting your right hand drift in front or in back of your right leg, bend over to the right. Without twisting or flexing your spine, contract your left side to stand up and return to the starting position. Do 8 to 12 reps in a controlled manner. Then do 8 to 12 reps to the left side with the weight in your left hand and the movement reversed.
Work up to doing two sets.
Ensure that when you are bending to the side you are keeping your hand in the same plane as your two legs, in other words, that you are not letting your hand drift forward or backward. The most difficult movement down and up is the correct one.
If you don't proceed slowly at first, this exercise will give you DOMS (delayed-onset muscular soreness).
The best ab exercises for upper abs
You probably already know that Floor Crunches are one of the best ab exercises. What you may not know is how to perform them properly.
Initial position and posture: Lie on your back on the floor. With your knees bent and pointed towards the ceiling, keep your feet flat on the floor with your heels about half a foot from your buttocks. Put your upper arms straight out to the sides from your shoulders; touch your fingertips to your jawbones. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Throughout the movement, keep the cervical spine in a proper neutral position and keep your lower back pressed against the floor.
Movement: Contract your upper abs while raising your vertebra from the top, one vertebra at a time. Pretend that your chin is moving towards the ceiling. Once you have raised yourself as far up as you can (which won't be very far off the floor), slowly lower yourself one vertebra at a time to the starting position. Work your way up until you are able to do 12 reps.
Eventually, do three sets of 12 reps.
Do not let your chin drop toward your chest.
OK, let's do it!
You now understand how to perform four of the best ab exercises.
These are suitable for everyone at all levels.
You may perform this routine every other day or 2 or 3 times weekly. If you perform these exercises properly, slowly, and consistently, you'll soon have improved midsection strength (and a decreased risk of lower back pain).
Enjoy your workout routines!
Related web pages for further help
Best ab exercises recommended books
The books are available at some good bookstores, especially Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, usually in Kindle and paperback form, sometimes as hardbacks. If you found the best ab exercises informative, these books are excellent further reading suggestions.
On most pages of our website, we aim to recommend the very best books available according to the topic of each page. We endeavor to make the best suggestions based on experience and our many years of work and research in the fields of health and fitness. We suggest only books that we have read and can wholly commend.