The Best Ab Exercises to Program into Workouts

I wish there was a magic ab exercise or routine that would snatch the waist in but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. There’s a lot more that goes into having a skinnier stomach than doing ab crunches every single day.

However, working on your core can help those muscles improve just like any muscle you want to train. If you really want to decrease your stomach fat you are going to have to be eating in a calorie deficit and you will need to training your whole body, eating enough protein, and staying consistent long term.

Your core is made up of 4 main muscles:

  • Internal Obliques : side flexion used to twist & flex the torso.
  • External Obliques : Largest part of the abdominals used to flex & rotate the torso.
  • Rectus Abdominus : “six pack muscles” flexes the torso.
  • Transverse Abdominus : deepest part that wraps itself around the abdomen from the spine to the front. This muscle helps protect the spine.

There are many variations of ab exercises you can do to continue to build a strong core. Having a strong core is going to be more useful than simply looking jacked and having a 6 pack. It increases stability, performance, balance, decreases chance of injury, and helps improve strength in all other exercises or cardio.

My Favorite Ab Exercises to Program:

  • Plank variations (rotating, weighted, side / front, hands / elbows, etc.)
  • Bosu ball / Stability ball crunch : helps get more range of motion than a traditional floor crunch.
  • Farmers Walks
  • Paloff Press
  • Side Ball Slams
  • Deadbug
  • Stir the pot stability ball
  • Hanging leg raise variations (bent knee, single leg, traditional, etc.)
  • Decline Crunch
  • Cable Rope Crunch
  • Cable Twist
  • Oblique Twist (russian twist)
  • Alternating V – Up
  • Knee to toe reach
  • Butterfly sit up
  • Lateral Bear Walk
  • Reverse Crunch

There are so many that you can add into your routine to continue to challenge yourself. I try to always have at least one stabilizing exercise and one extension exercise in my programs. 

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