These Are the Best Abdominal
Exercises To Perform

The best abdominal exercises to perform involve using all of the muscles that make up the abdominal group. These include:

  • Rectus Abdominis

  • Transversus Abdominis

  • Internal Obliques

  • External Obliques
  • The action/ function of these muscles are: flexion of the spine, rotation of the spine and stabilisation of the spine.

    During sport and everyday activity these muscles work together to help keep the body stable, which then allows the most efficient use of our limbs as well as the generation of power.

    It is important to keep in mind that the abdominal muscles are same as any other muscle group in the body and respond to the same stimuli. Therefore, it is not necessary to perform excessively high reps for this muscle group during your ab workouts.

    You should select exercises that challenge the muscles enough so high reps are hard to do. For example, weighted crunches on a swiss ball or cable curls. In saying that though, it is important not to use too much resistance so it requires you to compromise form and technique in order to complete a repetition.

    It is also important to remember that it is impossible to isolate different parts of the rectus abdominis (upper and lower portion) even though it may be possible to emphasise one end during the performance of specific ab exercises. For example, regular crunches emphasise the upper portion of the abdominal muscle whilst reverse crunches emphasise the lower portion.

    In addition to this and contrary to popular belief, training the abdominal muscles does not get rid of the fat overlying the stomach. This concept is called 'spot reduction' and is a total myth!

    Here are the best abdominal exercises to perform:

    Crunches on the floor or a Swiss (Fit) ball

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform the crunch exercise:

    Reverse Crunches

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform the reverse crunch exercise:

    Hanging leg raises

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform the hanging leg raises:

    Double crunches

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform the double crunch exercise:

    Sit ups (come all the way up and bring your lower back off the floor)

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform full sit-ups:

    Wood chops

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform the wood chops exercise:

    Reverse wood chops

    Here's a video that demonstrates how to perform the reverse wood chops exercise:

    Always keep in mind that the purpose of these exercises is to simply stimulate the muscles. By doing so, you will increase the strength of all of your abdominal muscles, which will translate into better performance on the field and in everyday activities.

    When performing crunches there are 4 important technical points to remember:

  • Keep your hands at the side of your head so they don't assist with the performance of the lift. However, if you want to use your hands to support the weight of you head so your neck muscles don't get tired then that is fine.

  • Keep a gap between your chin and your chest throughout the performance of the movement.

  • Breathe out as you contract your abdominal muscles.

  • Concentrate on pushing your lower back into the floor/ ball as you crunch.

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