A new year means a new you, right? We’ve reached the point in the calendar where many people increase their focus on self-improvement and step up fitness efforts. As such, finding the Best Ab Exercises becomes a key objective for a number of people. There are, of course, a vast number of different beneficial workout types, but those targeting the abs tend to be especially popular for a couple of reasons.
For one, they tend to require less equipment and supporting accessories; many of the best ab exercises can be done by simply laying on a mat or a bench. And secondly, the results of these workouts really start to show over time when you take your shirt off. There’s not much of a better feeling than looking in the mirror and seeing some new traces of definition showing on your stomach and obliques.
In trying to assess the best ab exercises, there are a few things for which we will account. How easy is to properly execute the motions? How substantial is the payoff compared to the effort required? How much has modern medicine and kinesiology supported or debunked the efficacy of the exercise?
With all those things in mind, we set out to put together this simple list of the best ab exercises for you to work into your regular routine here in 2016.
Best Ab Exercises That Get Results
Arms-High Partial Situp: With this move involves laying on your back on a flat surface with arms outreached toward the sky, then sitting up halfway and going back down. It’s a pretty simple and repeatable motion that really helps strengthen the entirety of the core — especially the upper abs.
Exercise Ball Crunch: An exercise ball is necessary for this one, but if you don’t already have one it’s a good idea because there are a number of great uses for it. This particular exercise is very straightforward: simply lay your lower back on the ball with your knees bent and your feet shoulder-width apart on the ground. Then curl your body up into a sitting motion, and repeat several times. It’s a very effective workout because your body works to stabilize while you do the crunches, thus incorporating and engaging more muscles.
Russian Twist: This can be done with a medicine ball or, even better, Adjustable Dumbbells. Sit on the floor with your feet in the air and your legs bent, and try to keep them as stable as possible. Hold the weighted object in both of your hands, directly in front of your chest. While keeping your core braced, rotate the ball or dumbbell from side to side. This exercise targets the sides of your abs and obliques, creating definition that will really show.
Plank: A longtime staple of the abdomen workout library, and with good reason. A plank could hardly be described as a movement; in fact, it involves staying completely still, facing the ground and propping yourself up on your toes and elbows while keeping your back straight and your core tightened. This one is great for defining those abdominal muscles. See how long you can hold a plank — it’s way harder than it looks!
What Are Your Best Ab Exercises?
Do you have a particular routine that works, with workouts that aren’t included here? Feel free to share your best ab exercises with us! Or you can find a long list of easy abs workouts at Health.com.