Best Ab Exercises
By Kim Roach
An impressive physique is never complete without a strong mid-section. Not to mention, strong abs are essential for many sports and other physical activities. To sculpt strong abs, you must have a strong base of nutritional meals and targeted ab exercises.
However, it's sometimes hard to know which ab exercises you should choose to get the chiseled abs that you're looking for. Described below are some of the top ab exercises for getting the abs you've always wanted.
hangine leg raises: This is a powerful exercise for your abdominals. Hang from a bar with your legs hanging straight down. From there, raise your knees toward your shoulders. Do NOT swing or use momentum. You must keep your abdominals activated. Use your abs to pull your legs up. To obtain maximum effectiveness, remember to go slow. If you want to work your obliques, simply raise your knees to one side of your body.
side bridge: The side bridge may seem easy at first, but it can bring quite a burn. Lie on your side with your legs straight out. Elevate yourself with one bent arm parallel to the floor. Hold that position for approximately 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Build up to at least 60 seconds on each side of your body.
decline reverse crunch: For this exercise, you will need a decline bench. Lie on your back and hold on to the top of the bench with both hands. Hold your legs out parallel to the floor using your ab muscles. Make sure that you keep your knees and feet together. Slowly contract your abs and bring your knees up and in towards your chest. Keep your abs activated at all times. Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.
hanging knee raise to the side: This exercise works your obliques and lower abs. hang from a bar with your legs and feet together. From there, slowly lift your knees to one side as high as you can. To do this, you need to curl the spine from the bottom up. Don't just lift your knees. Squeeze your lower abs and obliques at the top of the movement and then slowly lower your legs to the starting position. Repeat while alternating sides. Be sure not to swing your legs up.
bicycle exercise: The bicycle exercise is one of the most effective moves for targeting the rectus abdominis and the obliques. To perform this exercise lie on your back and place your fingers behind your head. Bring the knees in towards your chest and lift the shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on your neck. It is very important to keep your ab muscles activated at all times. Straighten the left let out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbox towards the right knee. Now switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee. Continue this rotation motion for 12-16 reps.
Knee raises: Hang from a bar with your arms spread slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep your legs and feet together and slowly bring your knees toward your abdomen. Squeeze your abs and hold for a moment before you slowly lower your legs back to a straight position. Try to do three sets of 10-15 reps.
crunch on exercise ball: The exercise ball is an excellent tool for strengthening the abs. The following exercise will focus in on the rectus abdominis. To perform this exercise correctly, lie face-up with the ball resting under your mid to lower back. Place your arms behind your head or across your chest. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball. As you curl up, keep the ball stable. Lower back down and repeat for 12 -16 reps.
About the Author
Kim Roach is the fitness reporter at HealthyEveryday.com, where you will find the latest fitness news as well as superfoods and a list of high protein foods.
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