The 5 Best Ab Exercises to Include in Your Ab Workouts!
Here are the 5 best ab exercises to include in your ab workouts as well as how to perform them correctly in order to get the best results!
We will also explain why each of these stomach exercises qualifies as one of the best abdominal exercises to include in your ab workouts and what you need to do in conjunction with your ab workouts in order to improve the definition around your midsection so you can get a flat stomach and perhaps even 6 pack abs!
Before we look at each of the best ab exercises, we will examine a few interesting facts about training the abdominal muscles in your ab workouts.
In order to get a complete abdominal workout, you must exercise each of these muscles by using the best ab exercises.
Origin / Insertion / Function of Rectus Abdominis
Now, in the case of rectus abdominis, both end of the muscle can be the more fixed end or more moveable end depending on the abdominal exercise being performed. Furthermore, both ends are located in the mid-line of the body. These features, which are shared with the erector spinae muscles of the back, are quite unique when it comes to muscles in the human body.
Myths and Facts About Ab Workouts
Mobilising and utilising fat as a fuel source is actually quite a complex process involving several steps. It is certainly not a case of pulling the fat out of the fat stores and putting it into the abdominal muscles to be burnt off. If only it was that simple! Nevertheless, by following a suitable nutritional plan that uses the guidelines for good nutrition, a good exercise program that uses both cardio and resistance exercise and a range of weight-loss supplements, you are sure to burn off the fat that overlies your stomach so you can display a mid-section to be proud of!
Here Are The 5 Best Ab Exercises:
Swiss Ball Crunches
Also, the exercise itself provides you with a greater range of motion compared to the standard crunch exercise. This is because you have the ability to lie back on the ball and arch your back slightly. A greater range of motion also means a greater number of muscle fibres may be stimulated.
Having the ability to lie back on the ball and arch your back also means you can stretch the muscles against resistance. This is a little-known secret to getting the most benefit from your resistance exercises. Stretching your muscles against resistance breaks the muscles down more and stimulates more muscle growth, which should be one of your goals in your ab workouts even if you want to lose weight. Keep in mind that stimulating muscle growth is very different to actually 'allowing' your muscles to grow.
Once you can do this exercise quite comfortably for 20 repetitions or more, it is time to start using a weight plate as well for added resistance. Simply hold the weight plate in both hands behind your head and perform your crunches in the same manner. Remember not to use your arms to assist with the lift. Your arms are simply there to hold the weight plate behind your head.
Since you are crunching your torso towards your pelvis in this movement, it tends to put a greater emphasis on the 'upper abs'. Even though it is impossible to isolate 'upper' and 'lower abs', I believe you can definitely emphasise one end depending on the movement being performed. The reason why I believe this is simply because during my ab workouts if I include 'Hanging Leg Raises' I can definitely feel it in my lower abs the next day compared to those abs workouts where I don't include it.
If you have trouble performing this movement, simply perform standard crunches on a bench or on the ground instead. Nevertheless, swiss ball crunches are definitely one of the best ab exercises.
Hanging Leg Raises
When you perform this movement you want to lift your legs (with knees slightly bent) upwards from a vertical position to a position slightly past horizontal. The purpose of this movement is to flex your spine upwards, curling your torso, not to simply flex at the hip joint. If you have trouble performing this movement try bending your knees and doing it, otherwise try performing reverse crunches instead.
One of the major benefits of performing hanging leg raises in your ab workouts is the fact that you can put additional loading on your abdominal muscles during the eccentric phase (lowering phase) of the movement. This results in a significant increase in training intensity and therefore, results!
The best way to do this is once you start fatiguing towards the end of the set and you are getting close to momentary muscular failure, bend your legs more so you shorten the lever. By doing so, the movement wil become slightly easier. Then, when you reach the top position of the movement straighten your legs again and lower them down. By doing this for a few reps in this manner towards the end of your sets, your abs will feel like they're on fire! This really is one of the best ab exercises to perform!
This exercise requires an enormous amount of strength, co-ordination, balance and stabilisation. It works all of the abdominal muscles, particularly the transversus abdominis, which is the most important abdominal muscle from a functional point of view. This means it provides the most benefit when you perform everyday activities or sport and is one of the best ab exercises to include in your ab workouts.
This is a great exercise for the rectus abdominis muscle and can give your a powerful muscle contraction because both ends of the muscle are being contracted at the same time.
Wood Chops / Reverse Wood Chops
It is important that when you perform these movements that you focus on using your torso muscles to twist your body rather than using your arms.
So there you have it! The 5 best ab exercises to include in your ab workouts. Here are several other abdominal exercise that are deserved of 'honourable mentions'. These include: cable crunches, reverse crunches and 'jack knives', just to name a few.
For more detailed information on how to perform these abdominal exercises and more, get a copy of The New Abs Diet: The 6-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life.
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