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17 AB Exercises: How to Build Abdominal Muscles, Tips and Workout Programs

18 AB Exercises How to Build Abdominal Muscles, Tips and Workout Programs

If you want to develop the aesthetics of your body, you need strong abdominal muscles. They help to stabilize and support your back, keep your spine aligned, and also help you maintain good posture. Not only do they play a key role in spinal health but it can be argued that they are the most important muscle group for strong core stability because it is responsible for preventing injury from occurring during other exercises such as squats or deadlifts. This article provides some tips on how to build abdominal muscles with 18 ab exercises, including workout programs. 

17 Best Ab Exercises

The following exercises allow you to work your abdominal muscles, namely: the rectus abdominis (which covers the front), internal and external oblique. They also strengthen the deep stabilizer of the lumbar spine – transverse spinal muscle that keeps us upright when walking or sitting! Doing these abs exercises not only help you get a six-pack but this training significantly can improve muscular endurance. ( 1 )

1. Lying crunches

This is the classic crunches exercise for working the rectus abdominis muscle. To do it correctly, you must keep your back pressed firmly against the floor and curl your torso upward until your shoulder blades barely clear the floor.

Pause briefly at the top of the crunch and slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Be sure to use a full range of motion and avoid feeling like you are simply yanking your neck off the floor.

NB: If this exercise is too difficult, try doing it with bent knees at first to reduce resistance. Beginners should also use lighter weights (for example, a sandbag or small medicine ball instead of dumbbells).

Advanced ab workout plan:

Do not do more than 25 repetitions in one set for this exercise.

For even better results, increase the intensity by using a medicine ball or dumbbells instead of the original weight (e.g., tire).

The goal is to work up to 100 reps per workout!

Lying crunches exercise

2. Incline Bench Sit-ups

This twist is performed on an incline abdominal bench with leg braces and develops the rectus abdominis muscle. You should fix the feet in the simulator and round your back, putting your hands behind your head. Weights can also be used. As you inhale, the back should be tilted back to about 45 degrees, without touching the back of the bench or straightening. With an exhalation, the reverse movement is performed.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform this exercise every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

Incline Bench Sit-ups

3. Incline Bench Leg Raise

This exercise targets the lower rectus abdominis (also known as “lower abs”). Lie with your back on an incline bench with your body straight. Slowly lift the legs upward, making sure to keep them together and knees slightly bent throughout the movement. Pointing your toes will also help you achieve this goal! If possible, hold a weight in the hands.

This exercise is usually used as an alternative to leg raises, assuming that you do not have access to equipment for this purpose (or just don’t want to use it).

Advanced ab workout plan: – The goal is 20-25 reps per set with a weight or resistance band.

If you are able to perform more than 25 repetitions per set, then increase the load.

– This exercise can be performed every other day or with three days of rest between workouts – it’s up to you!

Do not do more than two sets for this workout.

As an alternative, you can also use a weight belt and place some light dumbbells in the loops.

It is recommended that you perform this exercise on an incline bench with your back firmly pressed to the pad throughout the movement. You can also do it without equipment, but make sure to use a mat or thick towel (it will be easier for you).

4. Short Crunches

This exercise targets the upper rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscles). To do it correctly, lie on your back with feet shoulder-width apart. Place arms by your sides with palms down.

Contract your core muscles and lift your upper torso and legs slightly off the floor so you look like a “bridge” shape. Hold for about five seconds then slowly lower yourself back to starting position. Keep your arms flat on the ground throughout this exercise, as lifting them will take tension off of the core muscles!

NB: Be sure to avoid jerking your head off the floor as you curl up. We recommend doing this exercise on an exercise mat or thick towel to cushion yourself from uncomfortable pressure points.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform short crunches every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep the reps at 15 or less.

5. Fold-up Crunches

This exercise targets the entire abdominal muscle group and is a good alternative to traditional crunches. Lie on your back with feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Place arms by your sides with palms down.

Contract your core muscles and lift your upper body and legs slightly off the floor so you look like a “bridge” shape. Then lift your arms off the floor and reach toward your knees with both hands. Hold for about five seconds, then slowly lower yourself back to starting position.

Be sure that you are not just lifting up at the shoulders during this exercise – it is important that you move entirely from the waist down! Do not rush through this movement since doing so will cancel out the benefits.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform fold-up crunches every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 12 repetitions per set, and only increase if you can easily perform 20 reps without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep the reps at 12 or less.

Ab exercises:Fold-up crunches

6.Russian Twists

This exercise targets both the rectus abdominis and obliques (side muscles). Sit on the ground with your legs bent and spread apart.

Place hands behind your head or place them by sides(or you can hold a weight plate or dumbbell), keep the arms extended.

Lean back slightly so that you feel a stretch in abs – do not arch your back! Twist torso from side to side as far as possible without lifting feet off the floor. Be sure to keep your knees bent throughout this exercise.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform Russian twists every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 16 reps per set, and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep reps at 16 or less.

7.The Bicycle Crunch

This exercise works both rectus abdominis and obliques (side muscles). Lie flat on a mat with legs together, arms exout to your sides.

Bring knees in toward chest with feet together, then twist torso to the right and touch the elbow to knee. Be sure that you are not just lifting up at the shoulders during this exercise – it is important that you move entirely from the waist down! Do not rush through this movement since doing so will cancel out the benefits of the exercise.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform bicycle crunches every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep reps at 15 or less.

The Bicycle Crunch For AB Exercises

8.Plank

This exercise works abs and back muscles, as well as obliques (side muscles). Get into a push-up position on the mat with your legs straight together, arms extended out in front of you – do not bend elbows! Keep your body tight by squeezing your abs and glutes, and try to maintain a straight line from head to toe. Hold for as long as possible without breaking position or letting your hips sag toward the ground – this is not an easy exercise so you will definitely feel the burn!

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform plank every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 30 seconds per set and only increase if you can easily break the one-minute mark without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 25+ seconds.

Plank Exercise For AB Muscles

9.Pilates Scissors

The Pilates Scissors is an advanced Pilates exercise that requires some basic knowledge of technique. This exercise targets the glutes, obliques, abdominals and buttocks. You can perform this exercise on the floor or on a mat. 

The Scissors can be performed with both legs and hands, and while lying on your back, extend one leg above the floor and the other into the air, holding it in your hands. Tighten your abdomen as you exhale, then inhale, switch legs, and repeat  

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform Pilates scissors every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

Pilates Scissors

10. Pushup

This exercise works abs and back muscles as well as triceps (back of arm). Get into a push-up position on the mat with your legs together, arms extended out in front of you – do not bend elbows! Keep your body tight by squeezing your abs and glutes, and try to maintain a straight line from head to toe. Bend elbows and lower chest toward the ground, then press back up to starting position.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform pushups every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

Push Up for Ab

11. Plate Twist

This exercise works abs, obliques (side muscles) and hip flexors. Hold a plate with both hands in front of your chest, then stand up straight while holding the plate out to each side – do not lean forward or backward! Twist from the waist so that the plate touches the floor on the outside of your left foot, then return to start position.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform this exercise every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

12. Situp

This exercise works abs and hip muscles. Lie on the floor with your knees bent, arms crossed in front of you or hands behind your head. As you sit up, bring your upper body forward by bending at your hips until your upper body is perpendicular to the ground – do not curl upward! Once complete, return to starting position while maintaining a neutral spine (flat back).

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform sit-ups every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

Situp Exercise For AB

13. Raising The Legs Lying

This exercise works the rectus abdominis muscle. Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat, hip-width apart from each other. Lean back so that you are lying in an inclined position at about 45 degrees to ground.

Lift legs off the floor keeping them straight and together – do not bend at the knee! Hold for about five seconds then slowly lower legs back to starting position.

NB: Keep your head and shoulders on the ground at all times! If you find this difficult, place your hands beneath your buttocks for support.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform raising the legs lying every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep the reps at 15 or less.

Raising the legs lying

14. Raising Arm to The Opposite Leg

This exercise targets all the muscles of the abdominal wall, but especially the obliques. Lie on your back with knees bent, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your right hand behind your head and extend your left leg straight out. As you exhale, slowly raise your torso and left leg toward each other, keeping them both as straight as possible. Hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform this exercise every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

Raising the Arm to The Opposite Leg

15. Oblique Twisting

The main emphasis of the load here falls on the oblique muscles of the abdomen, concentrating on each side separately.

Lie on your back with one arm behind and the opposite leg up in front. Curl that bottom rib into you. Exhale as you twist, then inhale to return its normal placement while keeping a strong core for stability.

Advanced ab workout plan: – Perform this exercise every other day with three days of rest between workouts for optimal results.

– Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.

– As you get stronger, increase the number of sets to two but keep time under tension at around 12 seconds.

Oblique Twisting For AB

16. Hanging Leg Raise

Exercise develops the rectus abdominis muscle. It is necessary to hang on the horizontal bar: with an exhalation, lift your legs parallel to the floor, without swinging, and while inhaling, lower your feet down.

There is also an option with touching the feet of the crossbar, but for this, you need to be in good physical condition. It is performed in the same way, but at the top of the movement, the feet should touch the crossbar without swinging the body.

Hanging Leg Raise For abdominal muscle

17. Oblique Twists on The Bar

This exercise is a great way to work your abs and obliques. Hang from a pull-up bar with palms facing forward, then slowly twist your torso to the right, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee. Hold for a second, then return to starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Oblique Twists on The Bar

Tips: how to build abs

  • Abs can be trained often – 3-4 times a week, but not every day. Although the abdominal muscles recover quickly, they still need a rest period of at least 1–2 days in order to grow.
  • – Do not do more than 15 reps per set and only increase if you can easily perform 20+ repetitions without feeling too tired or straining your muscles.
  • – do not forget about water – it is essential for proper function, as well as snacks with slow carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and proteins (lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products) between the main meals;
  • – do not overdo it with exercises – start with basic moves and add more complex ones gradually as your strength and endurance increase;
  • – do not focus only on the abs in your workouts – this will lead to an imbalance and can cause injuries;
  • – do not use heavy weights when training your abs – it is important to maintain good form, especially when doing repetitions;
  • – do not forget about cardio exercises – they are essential for a well-rounded training program and will help you burn calories, which is necessary for losing fat in the abdominal area.

There are many other mistakes that people make when trying to build their abs – these are just some of the most common ones. By avoiding them, you will give yourself a better chance of success and see results faster. Remember that patience and perseverance are necessary for this task.

The scheme of the training program for the press

Regardless of the muscles being trained, ab exercises are done at the end of the workout. Therefore, the complex will only present options for the abdominal muscles.

Day 1 – focusing on the upper rectus muscle

  1. Raising the torso on an incline bench.
  2. A fold.
  3. Short torso lifts.

Day 2 – with a focus on the lower abs

  1. Raising your legs on the uneven bars.
  2. Incline Bench Leg Raise.
  3. Raising the legs alternately lying on the floor.

Day 3 – focusing on the oblique muscles of the abdomen

  1. Side crunches in a block trainer.
  2. Lying oblique crunches.
  3. Bicycle crunch
  4. Weighted crunch

The Bottom Line

You can use these 17 best ab exercises to get that six-pack you’ve always wanted. But, if you want the best results possible, make sure to follow a complete abdominal workout routine including cardio and weight training on top of your daily workouts!

Henry James

Henry James

Founder of livepowerful.com: I am a web content writer and editor who focus on studying and writing articles about health and wellness ,and believe that it is these qualities could make people healthier in life.

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