Want to know how to make your midsection rock hard and make those abs pop up? Well then stick around cause in this article I am going to talk about the 5 best ab exercises that you will need in your workout.
JUNK FOOD IS THE ONLY THING STANDING BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR ROCK HARD ABS
Let me clear it out first.
You will find many articles all over the internet about “best ab exercises” but all of them have one thing in common, i.e. the steps of doing those exercises correctly.
Yes, they explained it well and now everyone knows how to do all those exercises.
But do you know what makes those exercises so important?
No? (I guess)
Well, you don’t have to worry.
In this article, I have put together 5 best ab exercises which will help you in getting the rock hard abs. With these, I have put together some explanations about what makes these exercises great and effective.
All the exercises in this article are created by considering the body weight and the weight loaded exercises. There are many ways to train the abs muscles but in this article, I have put together the best ones which will really affect your abs muscles
Why You Cannot Develop Ab Muscle?
You will find many guides and articles about the exercises about training the abs but you won’t find many guys with ripped abs.
Where is the problem? What is the problem?
The problem is that there is much awful advice which mainly misleads people. Some of them are
Some guides say that there are supplements which will help in burning fats and make up your abs muscle show up. They are totally wrong and please stay away from all these supplements. I can’t say if they are useful or not but it is sure that they are totally harmful.
There are also people who say that you will need to eat certain types of food. They are also wrong.
Some people will suggest a special abs workout which will help you get hard rock abs. I won’t say that they are wrong, but they aren’t totally correct. Training your abs will need a good combination of different exercises which will target different areas of your abdominal muscles.
Sometimes you will hear that Squats and deadlift will develop abs muscles. I agree that while performing the compound exercises, you will have to keep your core tight, but that won’t perfectly develop your abs muscles.
And some will say that you need to have a low body fat percentage. Even some guys with low body fat percentage are unable to develop their abs muscle.
In fact, there are only two things to consider if you want to develop abs muscles.
Simple Steps To Get Rock Hard Abs
You may think getting yourself a six-pack might be hard, but the truth is that it is extremely simple.
Here are the things you need to do to get your ab muscles.
You have to lose your belly fat
Yes, it is a must for your abs. So I am starting with the most obvious one.
Your belly fat is the main reason why you don’t have a six pack abs. Your abdominal muscles are covered by a thick layer of fats which is stopping the abs muscle to pop up for a show.
First of all, you have to get rid of the belly fats covering your abdominal muscles.
You simply cannot target the belly fat and burn it. It doesn’t work that way.
There is some research which shows that you can breakdown your fat cells and convert it into energy by training a muscle.
But that effect is very less to matter.
Training your muscles will surely lead to burning the calories and can grow them but that won’t burn the fats covering the muscles.
The process of fat loss is a whole body process.
You have to be on a calorie deficit. Being on a calorie deficit will force the body to use the stored fat to provide the body with the required energy.
Fat loss cannot be targetted, it will happen throughout the body. It is just that some parts of the body will lean out more quickly than others.
The whole thing is that you can do abs regularly but still abs won’t show up until you burn your belly fat.
If you are men and you want your abs muscle to be visible, you need to have a body percentage of 10% or below.
And if you are women and you want your abs muscle to be visible, you need to have a body fat percentage of 18% or below.
As I mentioned earlier that some parts of the body will get lean quickly while other parts will take much time. Such a time-consuming body part is the belly.
The fats in the abs and the lower abs which are also known as the belly fats are much stubborn as compared to the other parts of the body.
You need to develop your core muscles
You may think that powerlifters who are involved only with the heavy compound exercises like the squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and the bench press do not need a abs workout.
It is not like that actually.
Even the powerlifters need a good core strength for the heavy lifts.
The rectus abdominis muscle which makes the six-pack is the main muscle which we know as the abs muscle. And then there are many other muscles too which complete the look of the abs portion.
Like the obliques and the transversus abdominis in the sides which sculpt the side view of the body.
All these muscles together make up the core. And the entire core needs to be trained for well developed muscular abs. Core training is also important for heavy lifting because if the core muscles aren’t strong, those lifts can cause injuries to the body.
Ok, so now with that being said, lets us jump on to the main course.
5 Best Ab Exercises For Developing Your Six Packs
Are you tired of doing regular crunches?
Try doing the Kneeling Cable Crunches. It is one of the best ab crunch exercises you can do for training your upper abs muscles.
But why am I talking about this exercise?
The main strength of this crunch variation is that is highly versatile. This exercise can be performed at any cable stack. You can train for a target rep range by using any level of resistance.
But there are many people who perform this exercise in a wrong way.
You need to sit back and let your hip flexors do all the work. And adding another piece of advice, do not keep your back flat. It will just limit the amount of work your upper abs receive. To work more on your upper back try to keep your back round.
The position of your hand should be next to your head during your set.
You will see many guys drifting their hands away from the position and then pulling back again beside their heads. This will just result in the engagement of shoulder muscles and the other upper body muscles.
So make sure to hold your hands firmly beside your head during the whole set.
When to do this exercise
Cable Crunches or any kind of crunches must be done at the beginning of the workout. This variation of crunches is very effective as compared to the bodyweight crunches.
So this exercise can be performed as the first exercise you can do. In this exercise, you can target at least 3 reps of 15-20 reps.
Another benefit of this exercise is that you can perform a drop set by changing the pins according to the suitable weight range.
Hanging Leg Raise
Hanging Leg Raise or also known as Knee Raise is one of the best ab exercises for the lower abs.
People love doing this variation of the leg raise exercise. This is because this variation is highly scalable. In a roman chair, you can do the bent knee raise. This will also put a great focus on your lower abs.
Then vary your exercise by doing a straight leg raise by doing it on a hanging bar.
By the time you reach the straight leg raise, you will train and strengthen your abs enough for days.
And wait, this is not over yet!
You can increase the intensity and the difficulty by adding weights to the exercise. For weights, you can use a medicine ball and hold it between your knees or your ankles. This is limit your rep range but your abs training will be more intense as the weights will come into play.
The bottom line is that no matter what the variation is, to get the full benefits from this exercise you have to raise your leg as high as possible. By raising your leg high without using any momentum you will engage your lower abs with great intensity.
When to do this exercise
You can do this exercise as the second exercise in your ab workout. Try to target 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. When you are doing this exercise with the weights, you can do a drop set. Drop the medicine ball when you hit failure.
Decline Bench Crunch
Another variation of the crunch but this is much better than the regular crunches. Considered as one of the best ab crunch exercises, the decline bench crunch is done on a decline bench.
The decline bench crunch is more challenging than the regular crunches because it increases the range of motion. It depends upon you if you want to increase or decrease the difficulty by adjusting the angle of the bench.
You can also challenge yourself further on this exercise by adding weights to it. You can add a medicine ball on this exercise against your chest to take the resistance training to a further level.
Training with the weights allows you to decide your failing position between the reps. You either fail on low, medium or high reps.
But in this exercise, your feet will be locked so it becomes easy to pull yourself up through your thighs.
Sometimes the exercise can go wrong too. Sometimes even with the weights, you won’t feel the burn in your abs.
In that case, drop the weights and focus on the contraction with a slow pace by keeping the hands on your belly or the abs muscle.
In the Decline Bench Crunch, you can also train your obliques muscles but introducing a cross-body movement. If you angle your elbows to the opposite side of your thigh, you will engage your obliques better.
When to do this exercise
The decline bench crunch is highly effective when your abs are already fatigued. To make your abs fatigue you have to perform the above-mentioned exercises like the cable crunch and the leg raise. So it will be a good choice if you perform the decline bench crunch after the cable crunch and the leg raise.
Target 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
If you are able to perform the 20 reps easily, try to choose a heavier weight.
Ab-Wheel Roll-Out is actually not an exercise but it is still considered among the best ab exercises by the fitness world!
There is certainly a reason why people love this exercise so much!
The reason is that there are many studies that suggest that ab-wheel roll-out is so effective that it can beat some of the best ab exercises like the crunches and the leg raise in case of muscle activation.
The Ab-Wheel Roll-Out works perfectly on the concept of anti-extension. When you perform this movement, your trunk will work to maintain a neutral position of the spine without falling for the influence of your bodyweight and the gravity.
Be careful of not risking your back in a way to drop your body while extending to the bottom.
When to do this exercise
The Ab-Wheel Roll-Out is an exercise which you can do as a finisher at the end of the workout. Try to target 3 sets of 10 reps. That will be enough as your ab will already be fatigue by hitting all the rest of the above-mentioned exercise.
If you can’t perform all the reps, try to reduce the distance of extension. You can later slowly work on extending yourself later.
If you have mastered the starting position from the knees, you can now advance yourself by trying the starting position from the toes. But as of now, if you are a beginner, it is highly recommended to start from the knees.
If you want to burn your core after a good abs session, then the Plank is one of the best ab exercises you can choose from.
Plank is an isometric hold exercise that really burns the core. According to some of the research, the plank is a great exercise for muscle activation, especially the rectus abdominis muscle and the obliques.
This exercise is especially on the list because of how challenging the exercise is. You can literally set the level of difficulty you want in this exercise.
Some people are so familiar with this exercise that they actually mastered it.
If you are also one of them and you want to challenge yourself to the next level, try to do it in a different way. Try to lift one arm or one leg while doing the plank. You can do lift one arm and one leg at the same time to increase the difficulty level and make it more challenging.
When to do this exercise
Just like the Ab-Wheel Roll-Out, the plank is a great exercise if you want to burn your core muscles after a great ab session. So doing it at the end of the workout could be the best option.
It can also be performed at home at any time as a core muscle activator.
As I mentioned above, the Plank is an isometric move, so try to focus on the time rather than focusing on the reps.
Try to target a set of 3 where you can perform the plank for 60-90 secs. As your core muscles are already fatigued, doing it for 60-90 secs should end up shaking your core.
A Simple Shortcut To The “Six Packs”
A simple way to have shredded six-pack abs.
Doesn’t matters if you are a man or a woman, getting a shredded look or a six-pack needs a lot of hard work and a strict diet which you need to follow no matter what.
Proper Diet + Hard Work = Six Pack Abs or Shredded Look.
Howdy friends, I am Rituraj Mazumdar, a graduate student by profession, a fitness enthusiast by heart and a fitness blogger by passion. Here in my blog, I will discuss all my knowledge and experience I gained in my journey of fitness.