Check our comprehensive guide of 66 pictures and instructions for some of the best ab exercises from bodybuilding, calisthenics and yoga. See the numerous ways you can work out your abs and add your favorites to your routine. Furthermore, our illustrations will show you exactly which additional muscles you’ll be training with each exercise. You can find Part 1 of this article here. It took a massive effort on our part to bring you these and we hope you’ll enjoy them! Please share if you like it!
34. Ab Crunch Machine
Selecting a light resistance on the ab machine, place your feet under the pads and grab the top handles. The arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle as you rest the triceps on the designated pads. Breathing out, simultaneously, start to lift the legs up as you crunch your upper torso. Use slow and controlled motion. Concentrate on using your abs to move the weight while keeping your legs and feet relaxed. After a second of pause, slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
35. Bench Crunch with a Twist
Lie on the floor with the lower part of your legs propped on an exercise bench. Relaxing your legs, place one thumb behind each ear so that your fingertips touch behind your head but aren’t clasped. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor in one motion, exhaling as you lift. With your shoulder blades off the floor, rotate your torso to the left, leading with your right shoulder. Rotate back to the center, then to the right (leading with your left shoulder), then back to center and return to starting position. As you lift and twist, contract your abdominals. Strengthens rectus abdominus and obliques.
36. Decline Reverse Crunch
Lying on your back on a decline bench, get a grip on the top of the bench with both hands and hold your body steady in this position. Place your legs parallel to the floor using your abs to hold them there while keeping the knees and feet together – fully extended with a slight bend on the knee. Now, while exhaling, move your legs towards the torso as you roll your pelvis backwards and raise your hips off the bench. At the end of the movement the knees should be close to touching the chest. Hold the contraction for a second then move your legs back to the starting position while inhaling.
37. Extended Leg Crunches – Leg Up
A variation of the extended leg crunch we showed in Part 1, with one key difference. You start with your hands extended above your head and one leg on the floor, while the other remains bended at the knee. Simultaneously, progressively rise your torso bringing your extended hands in from of you and the extended leg on the floor until you can touch your toes with the extended hands. Make sure the extended leg is not flex, but kept straight at all times. Get back to the starting position and repeat for the other leg.
38. Decline Bench Sit-Ups
Secure your legs against the pad, holding your body in place by hooking your feet under the pad. Next, place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in, but don’t lock the fingers behind the head. Exhale and curl away from the bench all the way up, bringing your torso completely off the bench. Focus on slow, controlled movement – don’t cheat yourself by using momentum. After the one second contraction, begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale. You can modify the exercise and do crunches instead of sit-ups to avoid extorting your back. Instead of going all the way up, pushing down with your lower back, raise your shoulders about 4 inches of the bench while contracting your abdominals and exhaling.
39. Oblique Rotation on Parallel Bars
Begin by stepping in between parallel bars and placing your arms on the rests allowing your legs to hang and extend down below you. As soon as you are in position, bring your knees towards your chest up to a 90 degree angle. Start to rotate your pelvis sideways at the top of the movement to really engage the obliques. You may also straighten your legs to increase the difficulty of this movement.
40. Side Bend on A Hyperextension Bench
Lie sideways on the Roman chair (or on a 45 degree hyperextension bench) with your hips on the seat and your trunk unsupported. Adjust the seat so that your upper body can pivot comfortably at your hips toward the floor. Keep your legs together and secure your feet on the support platform. Place your hands behind your head, but don’t lock fingers. Lean slowly sideways towards the floor as far as possible and comfortable. When your upper body is at least parallel to the floor flex your obliques hard as you return to your starting position. After completing the set, repeat the action with the other side.
41. Standing Twist Machine
Start out by standing on a twist machine with feet hips apart and holding the pads. Assume a normal posture, with your back straight. Exhale and using your abdominal muscles twist the pelvis slowly to your right, as further as you can, tensing your abs. Keep your head and upper torso in their starting position – immobile. Hold the stretch for several seconds and return to your starting position while inhaling. Perform the stretch on the other side, this time turning to your left, as far as you can without moving your head and upper torso.
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