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**DISCLAIMER - Simply training abs won't get you a six pack!  Diet & nutrition plays a huge role in whether or not your abs show.**

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Here's 10 You May Not Have Tried

1: Barbell Rollout

Keep your barbell loaded with 10-45 pound plates and, behind it, kneel on your knees. You should keep your shoulders over the bar. Keep your abs braced as you roll the bar backward and forward. Extend the bar in front of you until your hips are beginning to sag, and then bring the bar back. If you've done the ab wheel rollout before, you'll find this is a different ab exercise. You're still kneeling on the floor and holding the wheel in front of you beneath your shoulders. However, your arms aren't positioned as far apart as they are with the barbell rollout. With each of these exercises, you should complete as many reps as you can with your form perfected and then complete the set when you believe your form will break.

2: Medicine Ball Russian Twist

When you're performing this ab exercise, you must sit on the floor in the same position as you would for a sit up. Hold a medicine ball and, using both hands and extend your arms in front of you. Using explosive motions, twist your body from one side to the other while alternating sides. You can achieve a Russian twist with a barbell while in a standing position, as well. Grasp the barbell with both hands at its end and make sure you're standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. Begin swinging the bar from left to right and, if necessary, pivot your feet. That is one repetition. Continue repeating each of these exercises until you believe you'll break form.

3: Straight-Legged Barbell Sit up

You can use an empty barbell or one that's slightly loaded for this ab exercise. Lie back on the floor while holding the bar over your chest as though it was in the top of a bench press. Make sure you're keeping your legs extended in front of you on the floor at shoulder-width apart. At this point, you're going to perform a sit up, raising your torso toward a vertical position. The bar should be kept above your head, so it continues to drift back to an overhead press position as you move to the top of the sit up. That is one repetition. Keep repeating this ab exercise until you believe you'll break form.

4: Cable Chops

You can attack your core in four different directions with this kind of ab exercise include the top right to bottom left, bottom right to top left, left to bottom right, and bottom left to top right. Ultimately, you want to keep your spine from rotating. To help re-engage your core following each repetition, reset your weight stack. You can also use an adjustable cable to achieve this exercise routine. For example, if you want to do a horizontal cable woodchop ab exercise, you adjust a cable so it's at shoulder level. Grasp the handle with both of your hands and stand so your feet are at should-width apart. Extend your arms so there's tension on the cable and twist away from the machine as though you're chopping a tree with an ax. Make sure you're keeping your feet stationary.

5: Hanging Leg Raise

Use a pull up bar or likewise for this exercise. While keeping your legs straight, raise them upward until they're perpendicular with your torso. Lower your legs back toward the floor, but stop short and allow tension to occur on your abs before you begin your next rep (don't go limp). You'll find that this exercise is like the flutter kick, except you don't need to extend your leg as high or use a bench for support. When you perform the flutter kick exercise, you lie back on the floor and extend your legs straight in front of you. Your arms are kept straight by your sides, and then you lift your feet off the floor approximately six inches off the floor. You repeat this by quickly kicking your feet up and down in a scissor-like motion. You could try that too!

6: Front Squats

For this ab exercise, you'll need to use a barbell on a power rack that's set at approximately shoulder height. For those who don't have a power rack, you can clean it to your shoulders. Keep your hands at shoulder width apart on the bar, and your elbows should be raised so your upper arms become parallel to the floor. When removing the bar from the rack, it should rest on your fingertips only if your elbows remain in place and you can balance the bar. When you step back, turn your toes out slightly and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Perform your squats so you're going as low as possible while maintaining the arch in your lower back. You'll engage your core in a stability role here.

7: Stability Ball Reverse Leg Lifts

The use of a stability ball is a popular tool for achieving a solid core. While you're lying face-up, place a stability ball in the center of your back and keep your feet on the floor and at shoulder-width apart. Make sure your knees are bent. Reach your both hands over your head so they're holding on to something sturdy and supportive like a pole or weight bench. Keep your muscles contracted as you pull your legs upward until your feet are over your hips. Pause your movements for a beat of two seconds, and then slowly lower your legs so they're just about to touch the floor. Repeat this ab exercise at least fifteen times or until you believe you'll break form.

8: Pike to Superman

Here's another one where the stability ball comes in handy for ab exercises. You're going to put your toes on the stability ball and get into a pushup position. While bending your hips, roll the ball toward you until your torso becomes vertical. Then, roll the ball backward until your body becomes straight again while extending your spine. Next, you're going to roll the ball up your legs until your body creates a straight line while your arms are extended over your head, but they're still touching the floor. While in this position, you should look like Superman flying at a downward angle. You've just completed one repetition. Use your lats to pull yourself back into the push up position and begin your next repetition.

9: Resisted Reverse Crunch

We've all been doing crunches our entire lives. Because we're talking about ab exercises we haven't done, we're going to talk about the reverse crunch. You're going to lie on your back for this one, just as you would for a traditional crunch. However, this time you're going to wrap a resistance band around the arches of your feet. Cross the ends of the band with each other so they make an "x" and then grasp the ends with your hands. Keep your feet and hands at shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and hips so that your knees come close to your chest and then crunch your torso so it's off the floor. Then, extend your legs while simultaneously reaching your arms over your head and keeping your shoulder blades off the floor. That is one complete repetition.

10: Seated Knee Tuck with Medicine Ball

For this ab exercise, you're going to sit on a bench or sturdy chair. Use a medicine ball and squeeze it between your feet. Elevate and extend your legs so they're out in front of you while simultaneously extending your torso until your body begins forming a straight line. Make sure you're holding on to the bench to maintain support. Bring your knees to your chest while crunching your torso forward. You'll find that this exercise is like the dip raise combo exercise, except you're suspending yourself from a bar for this one. You'll need to use a dip station to perform this ab exercise. Suspend yourself over the parallel bars and keep your knees bent slightly. When you're raising your legs for each lift, they should be parallel with the floor. That is one repetition.

Why are Ab Workouts Beneficial?

When people strengthen their core, they become more mindful of performing other movements throughout the day such as sitting at a desk correctly, lifting a box, or gardening. The main reason for this is because they'll find that maintaining a straight spine will become reflexive over time.

Those who actively participate in ab exercises will also find that their posture is improving. When you have an ideal posture, it creates less wear and tear on your spine. When you strengthen your core, you're ultimately correcting bad posture by evenly distributing weight evenly throughout your body.

What many may not realize is that core training also helps improve breathing, as well. Throughout your core training, you're also developing stronger breathing muscles including the intercostals and diaphragm. In turn, you're also developing better core strength. According to a recent study performed by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, stronger core results in breathing easier.

Wrapping Up

When we have a solid core, it helps us perform every movement we make--sitting correctly, standing properly, carrying items, lifting things, and so on. Do you need to stand on one leg to reach something? You'd be surprised how much your core strength plays a role in that effort. What many people don't realize is that, if they have a weak core, they're often over-exerting many other areas of their body. These areas include their back, hips, knees, and shoulders. When this overexertion occurs, it can lead to unwanted and often unwarranted pain. These issues can be remedied with ab exercises and, at the same time, you could also be giving yourself a much-needed jolt of energy. Strengthening your core helps your body depend less on other muscles and, in doing so, you're using less energy throughout the day and your muscles will feel less fatigue.

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3 comments


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