20 Amazing Ab Exercises To Build A Strong Core


 

We know that you dream of having those Six Pack Abs. You stumble upon articles that promise the next big secret to getting 6 pack abs. Those so-called “secrets” get you started but don’t really get you results. What’s missing is a clear understanding on the Core Muscles which are critical to building sexy 6 pack abs.

The core is composed of your abdominal, back, side, glute and pelvic muscles. Besides providing a muscular framework to your body, the core helps protect your internal organs while lending stability and balance to your body.

Here’s a list of 20 fun and effective exercises designed to train your abdomen and work on your core stability and strength:

Crunch

Target: Upper abdomen

Lie flat on the ground with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Lift your upper back off the ground while pushing your lower back into the ground.

crunches
crunches

Reverse Crunch

Target: Lower abdomen

Lie on the floor while pressing your back to the ground. Extend your hands out to your sides. Cross your feet at the ankles and lift your feet off the ground till your knees are at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Now, contract your abdominal muscles while pressing your lower back on the floor.

Reverse Crunch for Bench Workout
Reverse Crunch

 

V-Ups

V-Ups
V-Ups

Target: Upper abdomen

Lie on your back and extend your arms and legs. Knock your knees and elbows and raise your upper body, trying to touch your toes with the fingers.

Side Plank

Side Planks
Side Planks

Target: Obliques

Lie on the floor while pressing your back to the ground. Extend your hands out to your sides. Cross your feet at ankles and lift your feet off the ground till your knees are at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Now, contract your abdominal muscles while pressing your lower back on the floor.

Oblique V-Up

Target: Obliques

Lie on your side with your body kept straight. Fold your arms and lift your legs off the floor (keeping them together) while raising the top elbow toward the hip.

Bicycle Kick

bicycle kick
bicycle kick

Target: Stability

Extend your legs and lie on your back with your hands kept across the chest. Lift your right knee toward the chest while turning your left shoulder toward the right knee. Repeat with the other elbow and knee on returning to the initial position.

Plank Jack

plank jacks
Plank Jacks

Target: Stability

Align your elbows under the shoulders and balance on your toes and forearms. Tighten your abs while keeping the body straight. Hop your feet out while keeping your torso tight. Hop back to the initial position and repeat.

In & Out Crunches

Target: Stability

Lie on your back while extending your legs and keeping the feet together. Keep your hands behind your head and stretch your elbows wide. While lifting your shoulder blades and feet off the floor, bend your knees toward the chest and lift your upper body as you do in a standard crunch.

Superman

superman exercise
superman exercise

Target: Stability

Lie on the floor with your arms stretched in front of your body, palms facing the ground. Tighten your glute (hip) muscles, draw your navel in and pinch the shoulder blades together. Lift your arms, legs and chest off the floor simultaneously. Hold this position for a while and return to the ground slowly.

Bird Dog

Target: Stability

Balance your body on your knees and hands. Lift your left arm and right leg. Extend your leg to your rear and use your arm to reach the front. Hold this position for a short while. Repeat with the opposite leg and arm.

Straight Leg Raise

Target: Lower abdomen

Lie on a bench with your face up and glutes at its edge. Extend your legs while you keep them parallel to the floor. Hold the sides of the bench firmly.  Keep your legs absolutely straight or as straight as you can and raise them slowly, while making sure your shoulders don’t move. Keep in mind that your abs must do the work. Unfold the body carefully.

Hanging Knee Raise

Target: Lower abdomen

Use a chin-up bar. Hang fully extended from the bar with your hands a little more than shoulder width apart from each other. Pull your knees toward the chest while curling your pelvis at the end. Make sure your legs are straight.

Captain’s Chair

Target: Stability

Use a back pad to stabilize your body by making a strong grip on the hand holds and pressing your lower back against it. Let your legs dangle below. Lift your knees toward the chest. Ensure you do this slowly and carefully and return to the starting position.

Oblique Hanging Leg Raise

Target: Obliques

Grip a chin-up bar and hang at an arm’s length from it, while keeping your knees bent. Pull the right hip toward the right armpit till your legs are parallel to the ground. Hold the position and repeat with the other side.

Cable Rotation

Target: Obliques

Stand straight with your knees slightly flexed and legs shoulder-width apart. Hold a cable in front of your chest, extending your arms and retracting your shoulder blades. Tighten the glutes while drawing your navel in. Turn your body away using the abs. Return to the initial position.

Stability Ball Knee Raise

Target: Lower abdomen

With your hips lower than the shoulders, lie face up on a stability ball. Reach back to grab something stable. Use your abs to bring your knees toward your chest.

Bar Crunch

Target: Upper abdomen

Lie on a bench with knees bent together and hold a body bar, keeping your arms apart at shoulder width. Extend your arms to bring the bar right above your chest. Crunch up by lifting the shoulders and upper back off the bench. Make sure that you do not bend your elbows. Extend the bar to the ceiling. Return to the initial position slowly.

Stability Ball Tuck

Target: Stability

In the push up position, palms on the ground, put your shins on a stability ball. Bring your knees toward the chest, using the core, till only the toes touch the ball. Now straighten your legs to get the ball rolling. Repeat.

Stability Ball Pike

Target: Stability

Keep your feet down and your lower legs on a ball while supporting your body in the push-up position. Raise your hips as high as possible while contracting the abs. Hold the position. Release back to the initial position slowly.

T-Stabilization

Target: Stability

Hold your body in a push-up position. Shift your body weight to the left hand and rotate the body. Raise your right arm high up in the air while keeping your feet stacked to make a T with your arms and torso. Hold the position.

With these ab workout tips, you will be able to build your core more stronger. Try out these ab exercises and share your experience with us in the comments below.

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Last Updated: July 5, 2014
Next Scheduled Update: August 5, 2014

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