If you want to train your abs, you will be happy to know there are many exercises you can try. Many people train their abs because of their appearance, but they also have an important role in our overall strength and posture.
Since they are situated in the center of our body, most compound movements will hit your abs, and make them stronger. This includes both upper body movements such as pull-ups and bench press, as well as lower body movements like squats and deadlifts.
Still, you can also use focused ab work to activate and challenge the muscles. Focused ab exercises will bring you the best results if you do them regularly (every day if you can). Also, a general rule is you won’t need more than 5-10 minutes to feel sore, so you can easily fit the exercise into your routine.
Here are some of the best ab exercises to build that six-pack and improve your core strength:
Mountain climbers are done in a high plank pose. To do them, you will kick one knee towards your chest, bring it back to plank, then follow with your other knee. This compound exercise will target your ab muscles, legs, and shoulders. The fast packed motion also makes it a cardio exercise, and a perfect choice for your warm-up. Try to do several sets of 30 to 60 seconds.
To do a side plank, you will transfer your weight to only one hand and foot, and raise the other arm in the air. You can place the other foot in front of the one that bears weight, on top of it, or extend it in the air when you get stronger. This workout primarily targets your obliques or side abs. You can also do it in the low-plank variation, meaning your elbow will be on the floor. Try to hold the pose for around 30 seconds on each side.
For the reverse crunch, you will start lying on your back, with your knees bent in the air and your arms by your sides. You will then press your hands into the floor and pull your knees towards your stomach, so your hips raise off the ground. This exercise is great for targeting your lower abs. Do it for 30-60 seconds, rest a little and repeat a couple of rounds.
Full V-Sit can be quite challenging until you’re advanced, and modified V-Sit will still target your abs just as well. You start in a hollow body position, lying on your back and with your hands and legs extended and raised slightly above the ground. You will then pull your chest and legs towards each other, with knees bent. Then return to the initial position. Repeat the movement around 10-12 times, and take a short rest before the next set.
Another great exercise for your entire abs, but especially your obliques. Lying on your back, put your hands behind your head and hold your knees bent in the air. Then pull your left elbow and your right knee towards each other, extending the left leg. Repeat on the other side, and work out for around 1 minute. Take a rest and repeat for a couple more sets.
Bear walk is a powerful movement that will challenge your entire body, especially your core and your arms. Start on all fours, with your knees bent and your arms extended. Then lift your knees over the ground and step with the opposite hand and foot forward, and repeat with the other side. Take around 2 steps forward on each side, then go backward in the same manner. Repeat for 30-60 seconds, take a short rest, and try to do 3 cycles.