Here is one thing I think we can all agree on Philly. It would be awesome to have great looking abdominals. I mean come on, who wouldn’t kill for those six-pack abs right? The truth is, not only do lean abs look great, but they are usually a good indication as to just how serious a person takes their overall level of fitness. So many of us want them, but so few of us are willing to do what it takes to achieve them. The fact is, great abdominals start and end in the kitchen. Diet is extremely important. Remember our 3 foods for washboard abs post? Food plays a major role in the ab sculpting process. But, it’s not ALL diet. Exercise is just as crucial to gaining and maintaining a fit stomach.
So, what are the best abdominal exercises? Well, first we need to understand how to successfully stimulate these muscles. The rectus abdominis (abs) is a pair of muscles that run on the anterior wall of the human Abdomen. Its main function is to flex the lower spine. Keep that in mind when doing an ab routine. Your Abs need constant stimulation over a long period of time. The old-fashioned 10 reps of a few exercises just wont cut it. Abdominal training should be done over periods of time. 10 minutes of nonstop stimulation is a great way to start. The key is to move from one exercise to another without any breaks. But the debate over which exercises to do has always been a question. No worries, the PHW gang has the answer. Again, over research and personal success, these are the 3 Greatest Ab exercises of all time!
1. The Bicycle Crunch
- Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in to your chest while raising your shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
- Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg.
- Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the opposite knee.
- Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion.
- Hang from a pull up bar with your feet off the floor
- Contract the abs to raise the legs and lift knees towards your chest.
- Don’t arch the back or swing the legs up.
- Slowly lower back down and repeat.
- Lie on the ball so that your lower back is resting on it.
- Place your hands behind your head.
- Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
- As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., the ball shouldn’t roll).
- Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat.