The 6 Best Exercise For Six-Pack Abs
Crunches and sit-ups can be monotonous, and they probably remind you of elementary-school gym class. But they don’t have to be so boring. There are plenty of variations you can incorporate into your strength-training routine that target the muscles that make up your abs. Standard crunches work your rectus abdominis (front part of your abs), while side crunches recruit more from your obliques and reverse crunches target those hard-to-work lower abdominals. Even though doing endless crunches and sit-ups won’t get you those six-pack abs you’ve always wanted, they’re certainly one piece of the puzzle. And by switching up the variations, you can make sure that you’re never bored with your ab routine again.
1 STANDARD CRUNCH
Lie flat on the floor with the lower back pressed into the ground. Place your hands slightly either side of your head, do not lock your fingers or pull the head up. Lift your knees to a 45 degree angle. Slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion with the legs. Alternately touching your elbows to the opposite knee twisting back and forth through the core, keep the elbows back rather than forward to the chest as this could strain the neck
2 WEIGHTED CRUNCH
Once you’ve mastered the proper form for the standard crunch, try adding weight to challenge your core even further. Start with a 10-pound medicine ball and work up from there. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the same position as the standard crunch and hold a weight at the center of your chest (but not resting on your chest). Curl up without letting your chin touch your chest. The weight might move forward (toward your midsection), but make sure that you’re holding it above you the entire time so that you feel the full weight. Lower back down with control for one rep.
3 REVERSE CRUNCH
Lie on your back with your arms straight out to the sides. Lift your legs and bend the knees at a 90-degree angle. Rotate the hips to one side, without letting the legs touch the floor. Lift your legs and return to the starting position. Rotate the hips to the opposite side and repeat until set is complete.
4 RAISED LEG CRUNCH
Lay on your back with feet elevated above the floor. Keep both your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees and place your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your shoulders off the floor, moving your elbows towards your legs. Slowly return your upper body on the floor and repeat.
5 SWISS BALL CRUNCH
Doing crunches on a Swiss ball is a great way to vary the range of motion you utilize. Be careful not to let you head or neck arch too far backward during the downward movement: Instead focus on letting your back and abs do all the work. HOW TO DO IT: Lay down on the ball with just you inner back touching the ball. Make sure your legs are at a 90 degree angle and lift your upper half slightly and come back down. Be careful not to strain your neck or your back. That’s one rep.
6 WEIGHTED SWISS BALL CRUNCH
Swiss ball + medicine ball = super-amped-up crunches. Since this variation is advanced, make sure you’ve mastered the stability ball and weighted crunches first before you attempt this one. HOW TO DO IT: Hold a medicine ball directly over your chest and lie on a stability ball. Your knees should be at 90 degrees with your middle back supported by the stability ball. Contract your abs and raise off the ball, continuing to hold the medicine ball slightly away from your chest. Inhale and lower back down so that your head is past parallel with your torso.