Are you ready to take ab training to the next level? Feel free to ditch the crunches and exhaust the core muscles with these 5 challenging exercises.
In this article, we present you five extraordinary exercises that will really put your abs into overdrive and help you slice off the extra belly fat, plus they’re a lot of fun. And getting a chiseled six-pack is not the only thing.
If you have a strong core, you will also prevent lower back pain and injuries, you will increase agility, you will become more flexible and be able to better perform all the big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and presses since you will have a strong torso foundation.
Regardless of how hard these ab exercises might get, there is a golden rule when it comes to training abs and it’s “quality over quantity”. If you still think that doing 1000 fast crunches per day will get you anywhere, the truth is you are just wasting your time and quite probably exposing your back to a risk of injury.
Don’t just try to go through the motions and finish as quickly as possible. You need to slow down the movement and focus your mind on contracting the ab muscles fully.
By implementing a slow and concentrated approach to ab training, you will gradually reach even minute long sets comprised of quality crunches, which will enable you to get that coveted six-pack look in a very short time.
SPIDERMAN – PLANK CRUNCH
- Position yourself in a standard plank pose with the forearms placed on the floor and the body kept straight and rigid.
- Start the movement by bringing the right knee forward to the right elbow. Then finish it by returning it to the standard plank position.
- Do the movement again with your left knee going forward towards the left elbow.
- You’ve done one rep. Switch both sides by doing a total of 10 reps.
The plank is a very popular isometric exercise since it’s one of those rare exercises where the entire core is stimulated at the same time. You are actually targeting both the back and front of the midsection area simultaneously and the best thing is you don’t need any machines to do it.
The muscles stimulated include the obliques, rectus abdominis, and the entire lower back. Its simplicity and effectiveness lie in that you can do the plank practically anywhere.
CABLE AB ROTATION
- Stand beside a cable machine and grab the cable handle with both hands placed in front of you at shoulder-height.
- Keep the arms straight and rigid, tighten the abs and start rotating the entire upper body to your left, then get back to the original position and turn to your right and then back to the original position again.
- You’ve done one rep. Switch both sides for a set of 10 reps.
This exercise greatly stimulates the oblique muscles and it can be of great benefit to lots of tennis players, golfers, baseball players and those who practice racquet sports.
Strive to make the exercise similar to the movement that is specific to your particular sport and you’ll reap the greatest benefits.
- Lie on the floor on your back with the hands behind the head and then raise the legs and bend them at 90 degrees.
- Switch both sides by bringing the left elbow to the right knee and the right elbow to the left knee. Do that for one minute.
- Strive to hold the crunch position counting to two on both sides to elicit a slower and more concentrated effect.
By doing this exercise you stimulate all the three areas simultaneously. It combines the standard crunch, the side to side movement which stimulated the oblique muscles and the reverse crunch which stimulated the lower ab area.
- Lie on the back with your legs and arms spread out diagonally in the form of an ‘X’.
- Keep the legs and arms straight, bring the left hand to the right foot, then the right hand to the left foot, lift the head, neck, and shoulder off the floor.
- You’ve done one rep. Do one set of 10 reps total.
This is a very simple movement, it’s very safe since you are fully supported on the floor.
When the legs rise off the ground, you have stimulated the lower ab area. And since you do that at a certain angle, you target the obliques and rectus abdominis too.
ROLLOUT WITH A SWISS BALL
- Kneel on a mat and place the hands on a Swiss ball.
- Keep the back rigid and straight and the abs tightened and then start rolling the ball as far away from you as you possibly can and then return slowly to the starting position.
- Strive to do 2 sets of 10 rollouts.
This exercise is very similar to the ab-wheel rollout, however, it’s been proven to be a lot easier and safer for the lower back area. It stimulates the rectus abdominis since you are only moving in one plane.
If you like to add more difficulty to the movement, start rolling out at an angle of 45 degrees to the right and left which will target the obliques.