“I hate abs,” said no one ever. Abs have become one of the benchmarks of a chiseled physique. You will never see a bodybuilder or a fitness athlete on a stage without abs. This shows how important it is to have abs if you’re considering competing professionally.
Having a chiseled midriff was brought into the mainstream when famous celebrities started working for them and sporting them in movies and photo shoots. This is when abs were officially in and you needed to have abs if you wanted your body to be considered ‘attractive’.
Numerous people get a gym membership with the hope of getting abs. They spend countless hours doing crunches but eventually drop out due to their inability to get them. The biggest reason behind it are the ineffective exercises they choose.
It’s time you stop listening to the bros in your gym. You won’t get a Greek god-like midriff by doing a few crunches. You need to completely exhaust your abdominal muscles if you’re looking to build rock hard abs. These are the five most effective ab exercises:
Table of Contents
1. Reverse Crunches
This is one of the most underutilized exercises in the gym. People spend countless hours doing crunches while they could multiply their results by doing this variation of the exercise. This exercise especially focuses on the stubborn lower abs.
- Lie on your back with your arms by your sides.
- Bend your knees and touch your chest with them.
- Get back into the starting position slowly.
- Do 3 sets of 24 reps.
2. Hanging Leg Raises
This is one of the most effective exercises when it comes to bringing the definition in your abs. Look at the ab workouts of people with chiseled midriffs and you’ll find this exercise in most of their routines. Hanging leg raises should be a staple in your ab workout routine.
- Hang on a pull-up bar with your elbows locked straight.
- Lift your legs and bring them to your shoulder level without bending your knees.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Make sure your core is stable and you’re not swinging while doing this exercise.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
You can even try a variation of this exercise. Instead of locking your knees, you could bend them and touch your chest with them. Doing this will increase your range of motion. Everything else about this exercise will remain the same.
3. Ab Wheel Rollout
This can be one of the most brutal exercises when it comes to ab training. Ab wheel rollout isn’t for the faint-hearted. This exercise works your complete upper body and will give you a stronger core and a firmer abdominal.
- Hold the ab wheel in both the hands and kneel on a mat.
- Keep the ab wheel in front of your knees. This will be your starting position.
- Slowly roll the ab roller straight forward, stretching your body into a straight position. Go down as far as you can without touching the floor with your stomach.
- After a pause at the stretched position, start pulling yourself back to the starting position as you breathe out. Go slowly and keep your abs tight at all times.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
You might need to buy an ab wheel for this exercise. If you’re running on a budget, you can even do this workout with a barbell. Add quarter plates on both sides of the barbell to convert it into an ab wheel.
4. Russian Twist
This exercise is for the people who have always fancied some obliques. Your midsection is incomplete without obliques. Obliques add an extra oomph to your abs. Beware, they can be harder to develop than your abs.
- Sit on the floor with a kettlebell or medicine ball
- Raise your feet off the ground
- Keeping your torso straight, tap the ball on one side
- Lift it up and over your body to the other side and tap it on the floor
- Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
5. Cable Woodchop
Horizontal cable woodchops work your entire midriff. They give your abs a peeled look and help you in adding definition. Breathe in during the eccentric movement and breathe out at the concentric part. Be ready to have an intense pump in your abs and obliques after this exercise.
- Set the cable pulley at shoulder height.
- Stand with your feet at shoulder width and hold the handle with both the hands.
- Stand at such a distance from the pulley so there is tension on your abs even while you’re at the bottom of the movement.
- Twist away from the machine as if you were chopping a tree.
- Do 3 sets of 20 reps on each side.
Although these exercises will completely exhaust your abs, you need to make sure your diet is on point. No matter how hard you workout, you can’t get abs on a junk food diet.
As someone rightly said, abs are made in the kitchen. Get your cupboards in place and your abs will follow suit.