This article will show you the best exercises to perform for complete abdominal development and growth. Many people get confused with all the many different exercise and machines out there to specifically target your abs. I am going to uncover the four best and only exercises you will ever need to do for your abs.
Crunches with a twist
Everyone has heard of crunches, they are the best full round exercise for the abs. They literally crunch your abs together and cause contraction of the abdominals. The abs are like an accordion, they pull your lower body and upper body together.
The only problem with traditional crunches is that they involve the hips too much. Your abs are used to get you head and shoulder off the ground, anything after this causes the hips to come into action. To avoid this you must only perform the crunch till your abs are contracted and only you head and shoulder are off the ground. To further reduce the hip activation, spread your legs apart like a frog.
Leg raises are well known for working the lower abs and the entire abdominals as a whole. Hang from a bar with your arms shoulder width apart. Drive your legs up with your knees while contracting your abs. Aim to tilt your lower body up and into yourself, crunching the abs together. Slowly lower your legs and give your abs a little stretch by arching your back.
Don’t cheat, don’t bounce or use momentum. This is a slow and controlled exercise. All ab exercises should be focused on contracting the abs and created the most tension possible.
Cable pull downs
Cable pull downs allow for the use of weight easily. Use a medium amount of weight. Grab the cable with your hands close together. Either place you hand above your head or on your chest. Kneel or stand.
Focus on contracting and pulling down with your abs, nothing else should be moving. Pull the weight down till you feel a good contraction of your abdominals. Then slowly come back up and stretch your abs, keeping the tension on them the whole time. Again don’t cheat and use momentum to get the weight down, if you have to do this, then the weight is too heavy.
Ab vacuums are an exercise that will work your internal abs. Many people forget about these, but they are vital for holding in you midsection and overall stability. To perform them breathe out all the air in your lungs. Suck your abs up and under your ribs, as though they are going inside out and being engulfed by your ribcage. Hold this for as long as you can, then rest and repeat. It will take practice and strength to get good at this, but eventually you will get better.