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. Enjoy!
1. Ab Crunches
Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Placing your hands on the on either side of your head, but not locking them in, start rolling your elbows from the floor while pushing the small of your back down in the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles. Continuing to push down with your lower back and keeping it on the floor, contract your abdominals and exhale, rising your shoulders about four inches from the floor in a slow and controlled movement. As you reach the position contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second, then come down slowly to the initial position while inhaling.
2. Extended Leg Crunches
An effective variation of the abdominal crunch, with some crucial differences. You start with your hands extended above your head and one leg on the floor, while the other remains bended at the knee. At the same time, progressively ascent your trunk bringing your extended hands in from of you, and the knee of the extended leg on the floor until you bring your elbows and knees to the same height.
3. Hanging Knee Rise
Grabbing a bar and hanging, let your body is still down and your legs become straight. Brace your core and use your abs to raise your knees toward your shoulders. Make a small pause when the tops of your thighs reach your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat.
4. Ab Wheel Rollout
While crunches and sit ups only strengthen your abdominal muscles, the ab wheel also strengthens your core muscles. Start by place the ab wheel on the floor in front of you so that you are on all your hands and knees. While breathing in, slowly roll the ab roller straight forward, stretching your body as far as you can without touching the floor. After a small pause, slowly start pulling yourself back to the starting position, tensing your abs and breathing out.
5. Ab Machine Crunches
Selecting light resistance, take your position in the ab machine. The arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle as you rest the triceps on the provided pads. Simultaneously, begin to lift the legs up and crunch your upper torso while breathing out. As always, make sure you do slow and controlled motions. Concentrate on using your abs to move the weight and keep your legs and feet relaxed. After a small pause, slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
6. Cable Crunch
Kneeling below a high pulley and holding the cable rope attachment, lower the rope until your hands are placed next to your face. With the hips immobile, flex the belly as you contract the abs so that the elbows travel towards the middle of your thighs, while exhaling. Hold the contraction for a second before slowly returning to the starting position as you inhale. Keep constant tension on the abs throughout the exercise.
7. Seated Flat Bench Knee Pull-in
Sit on a bench with the legs stretched out in front of you slightly below parallel and your arms holding on to the sides of the bench. Your torso should be leaning backwards around a 45-degree angle from the bench. Bring the knees in toward you as you simultaneously move your torso closer to them while breathe out. Pause for a second, then go back to the starting position, inhaling.
8. Seated Barbell Twist
Start out by sitting at the end of a flat bench with a barbell placed behind your head, resting along the base of your neck, as shown on the illustration. Keeping your feet and head immobile, move your abdomen from side to side (only until your abdomen allows) so that you feel the contraction with your oblique muscles. Breathe out while twisting to the side and breathe in when moving back to the initial position.
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