It is only natural that most people want to look their best and exercising their stomach muscles is usually a huge part of most fitness programs. If so much time and energy is going to be focused on this muscle group, it is a good idea to know what the best AB exercises are.

There are many resources available for finding the best AB exercises, and plenty of people to say what they consider the best, so how can a person decide for themselves which truly are the best exercises for working their stomach muscles?

First of all it is important to note that the best AB exercises are those that a person is willing to do.

No matter how effective the exercise is, if a person isn't going to do them consistently the exercise will not benefit that particular individual. It is also important to note that the best AB exercises do not necessarily require equipment to perform them, although some machines and equipment may work quite well for some people.

When a person decides on a fitness program that includes AB exercises, it is best to include exercises that work the different parts of the stomach. If a person simply concentrates on one area of their stomach, there workout will not be as effective.

The best AB exercises, combine working the oblique (which are the side muscles), the transverse abdominals, the lower abdominal area, the mid section and also the upper section.

One popular AB exercise is called the Crunchless Crunch. These are a very effective exercise and very convenient since they can be performed anywhere without any equipment.

This stomach exercise is fairly simple in theory, but can be fairly difficult to perform. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating. To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible,then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If this feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you eithercannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, let the contraction out.

The next AB exercise that is also very popular and goes along with the basic crunch is the Side Crunch, which works out the oblique.

This stomach exercises requires you to get off your feet and lie down, preferably on the floor or other flat surface. Use a mat or towel as a cushion if you have a particularly hard floor to work with. Lie down on one side. For simplicity, let us say you are on your right side to start. Bring your right arm across your waist so that your right hand comes to rest on your left side. Touch your ear with the fingertips of your left hand, so that your left elbows winds up pointing straight upward. Lift your shoulders up off the floor while simultaneously raising your left leg to height of about twelve inches (30 cm). Contract your obliques as you do this. Hold for a few seconds, then gently lie back down. Do this for an entire set, then switch to the right side.

Another good exercise that some fitness experts considers to be one of the best AB exercises is the Plank. This is an excellent movement to strengthen the whole stomach.

For this stomach exercise, you will need to lie on a flat surface, such as the floor. You will be lying in your stomach, so you may want to use a mat or towel to cushion your knees. Prop your upper body up on your forearms so that your elbows make a ninety degree angle and are positioned directly below your shoulders. Now lift your body up off the floor so that your lower body is supported by your toes, while your upper body remains supported by your elbows. Your body should basically be a straight line, with no arch or drooping through your back. Hold this position for twenty seconds, then lower your body back to thefloor. One repetition is sufficient.

Remember though, that just because one person may consider a specific AB exercise to be the best one it doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best for everyone. Each person's body is different and will respond differently to certain movements. Anyone serious about working on the abdominal muscles will find it most helpful to try several different exercises and then determine which one they can both feel and see results with.

As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

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