So many different ab exercises are available for you to do but wouldn’t it be nice to know which ones are the best and which ones are the worst. I mean after all, if we can focus on the best exercises then we can get the faster development of our six-pack abs. Luckily ACE also known as the American Council on Exercise conducted a study that tested out different ab movements and found which ones produced the best results. I’ve been recommending certain ab exercises over others for a while now and it’s nice to see that every one of the exercises that they said work best are ones that I’ve been advocating for quite a while. This study was conducted several years ago but it’s a fairly in-depth study comparing 13 different exercises. The researchers primarily looked at muscle stimulation and activity and ranked the exercises from best to worst.
So let’s jump right in with the top 6 best of the bests starting with number 6. The long arm crunch, this is one that I talk about all the time, and I highly recommend that you try it with a weight. The long arm crunch primarily focuses on working the rectus abdominus which is the muscle that most of us refer to as the six-pack. You can do it without a weight but I recommend taking a moderately heavy weight load and pointing it straight to the ceiling. I recommend using a heavyweight because another 2009 study published in the journal of physical therapy in sport found that using weights for your abs can greatly increase stimulation of the rectus abdominus. Also using weights for your ab exercises allows you to progressively overload your abs just by upping the weight over time which is a necessary factor for any of your muscles to grow.
So back to the long arm crunch you want to crunch up just enough to lift your shoulder blades up off the ground and then come back down while keeping your arms pointed straight towards the ceiling the whole time. It won’t take much to feel the burn from this exercise, but this is an exercise that I usually recommend doing a drop set with. Meaning you would do ten to twenty reps of weighted long arm crunches and then immediately drop the weight and perform twenty more reps with only your body weight and your hands stacked on top of each other.
If your wondering about the exact number of sets to do this exercise and the other exercises that I’m about to talk about stayed tuned because at the end I’ll give you an excellent ab workout that includes these top 6 movements. But moving on next up on the list ranking as the 5th best exercise for six pack abs we have the ab rollout and the torso track. These are both pretty much the same exercise except one is done with an ab wheel while the other one is done on a slippery track. This is one that you probably won’t be doing with weights, but by training yourself to roll out further over time you can gradually put more stress on your abs allowing you to progressively overload your abs over time.
To start this exercise get on all fours with your arms locked out the ab wheel directly under your chest. As a beginner do not roll out all the way because you can hurt your back. Once you get comfortable as a beginner sit your hips back to give you some leverage. Once you’re ready you can proceed to more advanced levels where you roll all the way out to the point where your body winds up being almost flat on the ground at the end of the movement. This is one of my favorite ab exercises and not a lot of reps are needed to break down a lot of muscle tissue and get stronger. Next, we have the vertical leg crunch, but I usually refer to this exercise as the reverse crunch. Same exercise just different terminology. To perform this exercise start with legs straight up towards the ceiling and your hands either folded across your chest or preferably behind the head. Once again lift your shoulder blades up off the ground just enough and then lower back down. This is once again another exercise that I recommend progressing with weights as soon as possible. Once ready for a weight I recommend using a dumbbell and holding the dumbbell across your chest or putting the dumbbell behind your head to make it more intense.
The third best exercise for abs according to this study was crunched on an exercise ball. When they say exercise ball they’re mostly referring to either a stability ball or a Bosu ball. I have mentioned stability balls multiple times in other videos so I highly agree that using stability balls can help create more effective ab exercises. Also to support this idea further there was a separate study
Check out my client Khalid’s transformation where he put on a whole bunch of muscle.