It can be tough finding out which abdominal exercises are the most effective for building a six pack and increasing core strength, as different sources recommend different exercises. The following article will only contain abdominal exercises used by professional fitness models (male and female).
Hanging knee raises
Performed by Rob Riches
Rob Riches is one of the biggest fitness models in the industry, with his main attraction being his six pack abs. He uses a lot of hanging knee raises to develop the lower portion of the abdominals – widely thought as the most difficult section to develop. Source
1. Hang from a bar, with hands gripped shoulder width apart (overhand grip).
2. Bring your knees to your chest. Make sure to squeeze your abs at the top of the movement for the best results
3. Lower your legs back down, and repeat.
Performed by Obi Obadike
Obi Obadike, WBFF World fitness model champion 2010 rates flutter kicks as one of the best abdominal exercises.
1. Lay on the floor with your hands placed underneath your bum.
2. Raise your legs off the floor. Raise one leg upwards, then as that leg goes downwards the other leg goes upwards in alternating fashion – but keeping both legs off the floor. Knees can be slightly bent.
Remember, achieving a six pack consists of not only abdominal exercises, but losing weight and achieving a very low body fat % through diet. For women to achieve abs they will have to reach sub 15% body fat. For men it is below 10%. The reason being because women store less body fat in the abdominal region.
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Abdominal Curls (with stability ball)
Performed by Lyzabeth Lopez
Lyzabeth Lopez works a lot on core and uses different pieces of equipment to help her strengthen her abs, with medicine balls and ab wheels at the forefront of her abdominal workouts. She uses abdominal curls to tone her stomach. Read below to find out how to do them with the correct technique. Source
1. Lie with your back against the ball, and your legs bent at a right angle with your feet touching the floor shoulder width apart. Have your hands positioned on the back of your head to give balance. Alternatively, you can place your arms on the alternate shoulders in a cross.
2. Bring yourself forward, rising up until you feel your abdominals contract. Remember to perform these slowly to increase resistance, and to hold the position at the top of the moment for a few seconds, to really emphasis the load on your abs.
Tip: It is important to inhale as you lower yourself down and exhale as you are coming up into the curl. Breathing effectively throughout the movement will help transport oxygen around the body efficiently, aiding health and ab development.
I hope you enjoy these exercises, be sure to tell us what you think of the exercises and whether they worked well for you below!