Below we break down the 8 best abs exercises you should work into your routine if you want to build a really strong core
Performing and maintaining a good ab routine is a necessary evil in any training session. It’s like buying new tires: Sure, not something you want to spend your money on, but deep down you know it will improve your car’s performance.
Of course, the implementation of a serious diet is of the utmost importance to show abs, however, beyond the aesthetic part that interests everyone, there is also the part of increased performance that many overlook.
A solid core is key to strength, endurance, and balance in big exercises like deep squats and bench presses. To talk again in automotive terms, strong abs are the “seat belt” that protects the body from injury and the shock absorbers that absorb all the “shocks” from the weights. Below we break down the 8 best ab exercises you should work into your program if you want to build a really strong core.
They are performed on a flat or inclined bench or on a single bar, as hanging leg lifts. The latter variation can be performed with the legs raised until they are parallel to the ground or with the knees only raised until they touch your abs. For more intensity stay with the legs (or hips) raised for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
These can be performed with the feet locked on the floor or elevated, or alternately pulled and pushed as the torso twists from the right and left sides. For even more intensity, perform twists first on one side for X reps and then on the other side for the same number of reps.
A specialized variation of simple trunk twists is Russian twists. It is performed with the feet in the air and twisting the trunk, assisting the movement with the hands. For more intensity sit on a large medicine ball (this time with your feet on the ground though), twisting your torso while holding a lightweight (or plate) with both hands.
Or otherwise “wipers”. It is a difficult abdominal exercise that requires good technique. Best performed on the floor with arms outstretched for balance, legs straight flipping in the air from side to side. For added intensity, place a medicine ball between the legs.
The exercise is performed on the floor simultaneously raising arms and legs in a straight line until the palms lightly touch the soles. An interesting variation is the lateral V stretches performed with the body on the side and the legs slightly bent. One hand outstretched on the floor for balance and the other resting on the head. Raise the torso and hips at the same time until the elbow touches the knees.
Swiss army knife
An advanced abdominal exercise that requires very good neuromuscular control. It is performed on a bench where the only part of the body that will be in contact with it will be the buttocks. Extend your legs and torso until you are as parallel to the floor as possible, then bring your knees as close to your chest as possible while lifting your torso. The hands should be held behind for balance, but if you want even more intensity, let the arms freely extend.
Gnawing on the pulley
The hard part of this exercise is to perform it correctly so that you feel the trunk pulling the pulley and not the arms. Simply kneel in front of the pulley, hold the bar (or rope if you prefer) behind your head and pull down as if you were prostrating. An interesting variation is the twisting pulley crunches (only done with rope), where, as the name suggests, you go down twisting alternately.
We have referred to an earlier article for this exercise. It is one of the isometric abdominal exercises and is considered by many to be one of the best exercises for abdominals and beyond. The purpose of this exercise is to be able to keep the body in a straight line for as long as possible. All that will touch the floor are your forearms and toes.