The number one question I get over and over is: what are the best abdominal exercises?
By the time you finish reading this article and taking action, you’ll see why these abs exercises are FAR superior to what most people are doing (and why they’re not seeing any real results)…
NOTE: Now while ab exercises are clearly an important step in developing your six pack, you’ll discover (in future days of this mini-course) how fat burning, proper nutrition, and weight training are also extremely important to getting six pack abs…
Ok, back to abs exercises…
As you know, ab exercises not only create larger, more visible abs – they also tighten your stomach which helps give you that healthy, sexy appearance.
Yet it is common to find that the exercises you use aren’t working. That is because it is common to waste your time on less effective methods of building your abdominal muscles.
1) Move Beyond the Traditional Crunches…
Standard crunches aren’t terrible, but they are not even close to the best way to work out your abs.
There are several far superior ab exercises that are known to build your abs faster, stronger, and more defined. Using these more effective ab exercises will help you build your abs more quickly and achieve more noticeable changes in less time.
The double crunch is a more effective version of the standard crunch.
- You start in the standard crunch position (back against the ground, arms behind your head with your elbows out), but instead of placing your feet against the floor, you bring your legs up so that your thighs point straight into the air.
- Then, as you perform the standard crunch, you also bring your knees toward your arms using the lower half of your abdomen.
Here’s a video demonstration of double crunches:
This style of crunch is easy in theory but difficult in practice, and will lead to more rapid ab muscle increase.
Head to Toe Touches
Sometimes referred to as V-Ups, Head to Toe Touches are also easy to understand exercise that are far more beneficial to building six pack abs.
- You start by laying with your back against the mat, with your arms up over your head and your legs straight out (knees unbent) at a 45 degree angle.
- Then bend yourself at the waist while raising your legs (still straight)
- Try to touch your toes before lowering yourself back down to the start position.
Here’s a video demonstration of a variation of the head-to-toe crunches called the Leg-up Touch Crunch:
The king of abdominal exercises, bicycle crunches are one of the most popular ways to build both your abs and your obliques. You start in a position similar to the standard crunch, except rather than put both feet on the mat, you’ll keep both legs in the air with one stretched out and one knee bent towards you. You then combine two actions.
- First, you switch your legs (bending the other knee towards you and stretching the other leg out). This will create a motion like you are pedaling.
- Second, you lift your head and try to touch your knee with your opposite arm’s elbow, while keeping your hands behind your head. You then switch legs (and arms) again.
- Once you’ve completed 10 to 15 reps, perform the same exercise while “pedaling” backwards.
Here’s a video demonstration of a variation of the bicycle crunch using a medicine ball:
Crunches on an Exercise Ball
One of the problems with standard crunches is that you are not getting the full range of motion. Your back has the ability to stretch further backwards, using your ab muscles to raise you up. When you are on the ground, you are limited to keeping your back flat, which in turn limits the benefits of the crunches.
On an exercise ball, you can place your feet on your ground and your rear on the ball, giving you not only more range of motion, but also using more muscles as you try to stay balanced. This will vastly increase the success of your crunches.
Here’s a video demonstration of a variation of the exercise ball crunches:
2) Slow Down…Do Less!
In addition to the types of ab workouts you perform, you will also need to make sure you are working your muscles correctly in a way that will stimulate muscle growth. Contrary to popular belief, ab muscles are no different than any other muscle in your body. Like all muscles, in order to build size and strength, you need to build resistance.
Doing a thousand crunches at a time may be great for your ego, but it will not build your abs.
Your best bet is to stick to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. When you find that this is becoming too easy for you, try to find ways to add weight in order to increase the challenge. This added resistance will help increase the size.
Also, remember that ab muscles are like all other muscles. Slow, deliberate movements will have far more benefits than fast, out of control exercises that may not be stimulating your muscles correctly.
3) Work Your Entire Core…
Finally, remember that it’s not enough to simply build ab muscles. You should be working your entire core. Work on your obliques, your hip abductors and your lower back as well. All of these will not only increase your strength – they will also increase the visibility of your abdominal muscles, your ability to do more focused ab workouts, and they decrease the risk of fatigue or injury.
Examples of core exercises you can do from home include:
The bridge pose actually comes straight from yoga, and is a great, easy workout for your hips and lower back. It also stretches your abdominal muscles to reduce aches after the workout. To do the bridge pose,
- you start on your back with your arms at your sides and your knees bent at a 45 degree angle with your feet against the ground.
- Using your hips (not your arms), lift your body up like a bridge.
- Finally, raise and lower your hips gently for 10 reps.
Side crunches are designed to target your obliques more. Many people forget that obliques are actually one of the primary muscles that create defined abs. Side crunches are performed very similar to standard crunches.
- Get in the standard crunch position, but rather than put your feet on the ground with your knees in the air,
- twist your body so that both of your legs are laying to one side of you (your knees should still be bent).
- Do 3 sets of 10 crunches and then switch to the other side.
Building Well Defined Abs…
Everyone wants to develop rock hard, well defined abs. But to do so you must make sure that you truly understand how to create the abs you desire. Doing more intense ab exercises, focusing on your entire core, and adding resistance instead of reps are all important for getting you the abs you want.
CAUTION: Doing Abs exercises alone will NOT give you lean six pack abs…
Be on the look out for Day 2 tomorrow:
What You MUST Do BEFORE Performing Abs Exercises…NOT doing this could Destroy Your Changes of Getting a Six Pack…
Got a question or comment? Got something to add? Let me know below…I respond to all comments…