Washboard stomach is something everyone loves. But crunch after crunch is surely not a way to score high-definition ABs. After all, your ABs performs more than a flexion, i.e., they rotate, stabilize and support core muscles; you need the Best Ab Workout routine to get stronger ABs and core muscles. To get the optimal result, you have to target the group of several muscles on both sides of your midline in several ways possible. Besides dietary changes and lifestyle modification, one should exercise a workout regularly not only for the sake of getting six-packs but also for the strength of core muscles and enhanced support.
The abdomen is one of the most important parts of our body that is made up of approximately two dozen muscles arranged in different groups. The upper abdomen contains less fat and is actually an easy part to firm up; however, it the lower part of the stomach (belly) that is hard to try to get in shape because it is a storehouse of abdominal fat. So this part of the abdomen requires more concentration and targeting it is the key when it comes to toning and firming your abdominal muscles. It requires the right workouts and a lot of discipline. Before jumping into the specific AB workouts, let’s have a look at several day-to-day benefits of AB workouts.
The Benefits of Best AB Workout
The benefits of abdominal workouts are great. Working on your abdominal can improve your posture by strengthening your core and back muscles. Stronger abdominal muscles can support your back and make it less prone to injury.
We are all surrounded by various types of stresses in our life that can lead to many physical as well as emotional disturbances like slow digestion and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can wreak a havoc not only on our appearance but also on our immune system. Ab workouts can be beneficial in relieving stress and day-to-day frustrations.
Besides managing stress, these workouts can also help in other areas like chronic heart diseases and obesity. Obesity and heart diseases are in direct proportion to each other and addressing obesity can reduce the change of mortality due to heart problems. It won’t be easy, but once you start regular abdominal exercises, you will shred belly fat, overcome obesity and will eventually be drastically lowering the risk of hypertension, getting diabetes, and heart diseases.
Ab exercises can also regulate bowel movements, improve digestion and help you with other digestive tract blockages you have. Getting to a gym and playing sports can improve your athletic abilities and help tone your ABs. If you are planning to put on that swimsuit this summer, then you have to set aside the time to shrink your abdomen. It will not only help you look Much better, but also you’ll feel better too.
Update your abdominal workout with following abdominal exercises. They will challenge your abdominal muscles from all angles and give you a solid body; making you stronger in everything you do. These workouts are a unique combination of basic AB exercises plus advanced AB workouts that will give strong core as well as help you shed belly fat easily.
Prone Plate Switch
This exercise stabilizes your spine, prevents lower back pain and strengthens your abdominal. Once you master the movement, you need to switch on an advanced super-resistant version of the classic AB exercise.
You need to stay in a perfectly stable plank position by combating rotation as the plates or dumbbells from one side of your body to the other. This resistance against rotation makes this exercise an extremely hard core-chiseling AB workout that brings extraordinary results.
It is the most popular abdominal exercise owing to its simplicity and efficiency. The primary function of your core muscles is to resist force and prevent movement through your upper torso. So 360 ABs is an excellent exercise that flexes your trunk to improve core stability all at once and sculpt a washboard stomach.
In the flexed position, you have to keep your torso completely still to avoid injury while you are creating sweeping circles with your legs. Making smaller bows hits the muscles of your six-pack (rectus abdominis), while the bigger ones specifically target muscle groups in the midsection, including the lower back, obliques, and hips.
Elevated Bird Dog
To score a six-pack or get a washboard stomach, you don’t have to continually practice crunches for a long period of time. Instead, trying more intense exercises like an elevated bird dog workout will help you get your desired shape more quickly.
The elevated bird dog exercise will help you keep your core rigid during the workout. Raising your knees a few inches off the ground, as in this exercise, makes it even more difficult to maintain the immobility of the torso during the change of arms and legs. This means that your lower back muscles and hips, rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscles) and obliques work together to support and keep your spine stable.
A basic pushup just works your core. On the other hand, a reverse push-up pulls your body forward and thus work your core muscles with a great resistance – exerting extra pressure on your ABs. Therefore, this AB exercise not only tones your core but also strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles.
This exercise will help sculpt a solid core in a fastest possible way. In the eccentric or downhill phase of a lift, your muscles can support more weight and help your body in stabilizing the core. Therefore, by slowing the pace of this phase, as is the case with this slow flexing exercise of Rocky ABs, the muscles are forced to work harder, thus accelerating their gains.
After slowing down with Rocky ABs, its time to increase the speed to target your obliques and rectus abdominis in a completely new way. This exercise especially focuses on working your six-pack muscles (rectus abdominis), just like the abdominal crunches. But the quick pumping of arm and leg muscles also builds coordination and increase explosiveness, which is fundamental for athletics.
This abdominal exercise helps you sculpt a rock-solid middle and build a strong back in one shot. It combines a side plank with a row of dumbbells. Your core needs to combat to resist rotation as the weight goes up and down. This means that all the muscles of the core, lower back, obliques, and rectus abdominis work in a great proportion to keep the spine stable.
This robust exercise has great rewards for your core. It’s an exceptional way to train the back and core muscles that help stabilize and strengthen your spine.
This exercise works your core and back muscles from all angles because it demands you to move the weight (plates or dumbbells) in an 8-digit around your body. It also helps you target your shoulders and thighs, building a stronger overall body.
Single Arm Wall Push
As its name indicates all you need is a wall to perform this exercise and you can practice it anytime and anywhere. It is a great exercise that works the biceps, triceps, shoulders, hips, lats, calves, buttocks and almost all muscles from the hands to the feet.
Contrary to basic plank, single-arm wall push especially focuses on training your core muscles in anti-rotation axis, means that it supports abdominal muscles to prevent your body from turning. This anti-rotation move helps to protect your lower back and carve a six-pack. You have to be cautious practicing this exercise as if the surrounding muscles of the spine are weak, your body tries to stabilize the spine instead, which can result in injury.
Stir The Pot
Stuart McGill is a famous spine specialist who recently called the Stir-the-Pot as one of the best core exercises to stabilize your spine and strengthen your core. Try it once and you will realize why he said so.
This is because it combines two elements; instability and dynamic movement that let your ABs scream. This combination allows you to work your obliques, rectus abdominis, and all the muscles that play a role in stabilizing your spine in almost any direction.
Goblet Reverse Lunge
If you think that basic lunges only target your lower torso, try goblet reverse lunge then. The goblet reverse lunge is an advanced version that works your core and ABs muscles harder than several other exercises do. As weight tries to pull your chest forward, your body has to work overtime to keep your spine stay stable and in an upright position. As several groups of muscles are working together, you will build more muscles and burn more calories in less time.
Lateral Wall Run
You have to consider training from a different angle in case you want to increase your gains. This exercise is tough for beginners, however, doing properly, it can help protect your spine from jerks and twists and also helps you react faster and stronger. It will enhance coordination, flexibility and improve balance.
It is an excellent AB exercise to wake up your hybernating abdominal muscles. As you turn from side to side during a bear crunch workout, it challenges your core and abdominal muscles to stabilize. But the real caloric burn and abdominal strength come when in each rep you bring your knee to your elbow. Here the small amount of flexion in abdominals targets your rectus abdominis muscles on both sides, leaving them fried.
Most men perform this exercise as their warmup as it excellently prepares your muscles for just about any workout. It stretches your thighs, calves, and hamstrings. This exercise suddenly becomes a grueling core-strengthening workout when you throw a towel under your feet while you are doing it. Doing inchworm slide targets your ABs, hip flexors, and obliques and you will finish feeling stronger.
This exercise may look like a child’s recess activity, however, it is one of the advanced and immense fat-loss, abdominal exercises that will instantly stimulate your heart and pump you ABs.
This exercise starts like a regular squat as it targets large muscle groups in the upper as well as lower torso such as hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps and helps burn several calories in a single rep. You can enhance the intensity of this workout by holding a dumbbell that makes this move a cutting-edge caloric burn exercise. Your core muscles are worked from multiple angles as the weight changes from side to side.
Doing pushups, walking up stairs, shoveling snow, and picking up your child from the floor requires a stable spine. This is the reason why most AB exercises help you maintain a straight spine and don’t flex it. Hip up is the exercise that does exactly the same while it also helps tone your oblique muscles and enhance your stability and rotational control.
There are multiple ways to strengthen your obliques or a weak core like planks and abdominal crunches, however, if you are looking for the most effective way, try stability moves like a break dancer. Performing a break dancer move requires the rigid, straight torso (similar to plank) to help tone and strengthen your abdominals.
This move is much more difficult compared to standard ABs exercises as it requires a stable core against the rapidly moving legs. Doing this move not only get you a chiseled torso, but you will also learn a new dance step to amaze your friend circle.
Swiss Ball Jackknife
Peddling on a swiss ball is one of the awesome core-chiseling moves and powerful tools for sculpting your abdominal muscles. Doing exercise on jackknife swiss ball recruits your entire midsection i.e., your obliques, lower ABs, hip flexors, rectus abdominis, lower back, and glutes. The unstable and soft surface of a swiss ball challenges your core to work even harder than most regular abdominal exercises and thus helps you stabilize the spine and improve your balance and coordination.
Overhead Press Using One Dumbbell
This exercise specifically targets your arm muscles, upper back, and shoulders; however, it can hammer your ABs if you give it a little twist and by a little twist, we mean, removing one dumbbell.
Overhead press using one dumbbell helps you pull your body to one side while lifting the load. The logic behind using a single dumbbell is to keep yourself in an upright position that will put pressure on your abdominal and help them become firmer and stronger.
The inspiration for this abdominal workout comes from skiing, however, it is one of most effective ways to prepare your midsection for several sports like golf, softball, and tennis. It is due to the fact that mogul jump trains your hips, AB, and lower back to work together while rotating your body from side to side. Interestingly, the more swiftly you can rotate, the better you can take part in games that require swinging and throwing.
Side Plank With Rotations
Want bigger gain? Hold a basic side plank and rotate your upper torso to hammer the ABs muscles and obliques. It specifically targets your obliques through the rotation and by applying force on your upper core against the leg movement.
Most individuals don’t emphasize their obliques in the desire of getting six-packs, and that’s a mistake. The obliques are really important for your ABs to support your spine. That means that having a strong obliques will help you stabilize your spine while doing other exercises.
Take a stroll the next time you are at the gym. The farmer’s walk or sometimes also called as dumbbell farmer’s walk is one of the most simple and underutilized abdominal exercises that makes it easier for you to carry heavy things. It also challenges your core muscles to stabilize the spine with each step you walk. It also strengthens your grip, trapezoid, forearms, and deltoids – group of muscles that often get neglected during regular workouts.
Three-Point Core Touch
It is an advanced version of planks and it takes this basic athletic movement to a whole new level. Besides improving your core stability, it also targets the muscles of the groin, hips, lower abdominal and lowers back muscles that are often overlooked. You can hammer your core muscles by slowing it down or make your heart pump by accelerating the movement. Either way, three-point core touch exercise will increase your athleticism and give you something you will be proud of.
This exercise helps you sculpt your obliques and rectus abdominis. This move is like an alpine skier coming down the slope of the mountain, while it also combines a swing with kettlebells. The action of swinging the kettlebell and slopping movement results in a very quick exercise that provide extra strength and torches fat from chest to hips.
The cable crunch is one the hardest and specifically targeted ABs exercises because it is weighted and directly targets the rectus abdominis muscles. By specifically targeting one group of muscles, it helps them tone and gain strength. To hit the obliques, you can also twist this exercise by touching your right elbow to your left knee followed by touching your left elbow to your right knee, and so on.
When done at high-speed, this advanced exercise rubs the fat and reveals your abs.
As the weight moves from one side to the other, your core muscles need to stabilize your spine. Your shoulders, biceps, and muscles of the back must contract simultaneously to regulate the movement of the kettlebell. You can try this abdominal exercise in a squat position to target your quadriceps or perform it with a curved waist to hammer your hamstrings. No matter how you try, you will see greater strength gains in no time.
Captain’s Chair Leg Raise
It is one of the advanced and toughest exercises that specifically target both the obliques and the rectus abdominis, including the “lower ABs,”. This is surely one exercise that will help you get your desired results faster.
You can begin by bending your knees, but you want to work towards the stretched legs. Then, as you become stronger, you can add the desired weight by grabbing a dumbbell between your feet.
Hanging Leg Raise
As its name suggests, this exercise is done in the hanging position. It is a modified version of a captain’s chair leg raise, however, requires more effort and strength to keep your body stabilized.
Again, you can begin by bending your knees, but you want to work towards the stretched legs (similar to captain’s chair leg raise exercise). Adding a bearable weight after you become stronger will be an extra advantage.
Abdominal exercises with greater resistance do not get enough love, because they require extra strength and stamina. They promote the growth of fast-twitch fibers like almost no other exercise else, and can actually build the “bricks” of your six-pack. You can train even harder by adjusting the load.
It is a compound exercise that targets approximately all muscles of the upper and lower abdomen and is particularly good at training the obliques. Air bicycle is an excellent inclusion for your ABs workouts as alternating movements in this exercise put a great pressure on your obliques and at the central group of muscles, thus help you get six packs quickly.
Kneeling Cable Crunch
It is an advanced variation of basic crunch exercise. The main strengths of this kneeling cable crunch are its versatility – the way this exercise allows you to utilize any level of resistance to training for a target rep range. Even so, a lot of people perform them wrong.
Cable Pallof Press
Why this exercise is listed in this best ABs workout: Because this increasingly popular workout helps you train your ABs the way they are supposed to. It serves as an anti-rotation movement, which means that the body actively combats rotation throughout the movement. By doing workouts like this, you can increase the stability of the core muscles and spine, build stamina and reduce the risk of injury.
The layout of ABs workouts
The layout of this workout routine is simple. You will be doing back-to-back “circuits” of three abdominal exercises. In between these circuits, you will rest for a few minutes (2-3) and repeat them.
Here’s how you build the circuits:
- Choose any exercise from the following, mainly a set of weighted exercises such as Captain’s Chair Leg Raise or Cable Crunch for 10 to 12 reps.
- You are using too much weight if you are not able to get at least 10 repetitions. Add 5 pounds to existing weight once you are able to do 15 reps.
- Go straight to a set of an unweighted ABs exercise like Russian twists or planks and do it until you fail.
- Now try another unweighted exercise for one complete set of 10-15 reps and do it to failure.
- Here the one circuit is complete. Rest for 2-3 minutes and repeat entire layout with another set of weighted and unweighted exercises.
iHealth Concern Verdict
There you go! We have listed the ultimate ABs workout cheat sheet for you. Now you can choose your favorite abdominal workout from a vast variety of exercises according to your targets and desired results to create the perfect routine that will deliver you amazing results.
Like any workout program, the ultimate goal of your ABs training is to move to more advanced exercises and get progressively stronger over time. The weight you add in certain weighted exercises, as well as the number of repetitions you can do, should be on an upward trend. These steps help you get stronger and firmer AS within no time.