There’s more to core training workouts than sit-ups and crunches.
But here’s the truth about ab exercises getting 6 pack abs…
there’s no magic move.
True, some are better than others. That’s what you’ll find here. But, even these phenomenal ab workouts won’t transform you into a underwear model.
The real reason you don’t see your abs is because you’re holding too much fat around the midsection.
One more truth.
While I love the exercises here. And the’ll give you a strong core. They won’t do much to help you shed the muffin top or spare tire.
The spot reduction you see touted everywhere is a lie. At least stretching the truth.
Research suggests that fat is mobilized from areas where the muscle is working. So, doing an awesome ab workout increases blood flow and releases some abdominal fat. But here’s the kicker.
It’s not enough to make a difference.
So, spot reduction is a myth.
But when the fat does come off, you’ll want some muscle there to show off. If you don’t, you’ll end up looking like this guy…
That’s why you’ll want to include ab training in your workouts.
The Biggest Ab Training Mistake
Too many lifters train their abs like a 70’s aerobics class. High reps and little pink dumbbells. Then they wonder why they don’t see results.
Too much volume. Too little effort.
Thousands of crunches per day aren’t necessary. You’d never expect your arms to grow from doing a 1,000 curls per day without any resistance. Just like any other muscle, you can’t just throw random exercise at the end of a workout and expect to get results.
What you need is an ab training routine that hits the three core components of muscle building.
Here are the best ab exercises according to science.
Flexion Core Exercises
You can’t think about ab workouts without a flexion exercise vaulting to front of mind.
Makes sense though. every other muscle group talks about flexing and squeezing the muscle.
Flexion exercises target the rectus abdominis. Your 6 pack abs muscle.
The rectus abdominis attach at the crest of pubis. Your groin. This is the origin.
On the other end. The insertion, connects to the costal cartilages of ribs 5-7 Xiphoid process of sternum. Your ribs.
The goal of flexion exercises is to bring the origin and insertion togeher.
- Break the Egg
- Cross Body
- Reverse Crunch
- Dragon Flag
- Flutter Kicks
- Leg Lowering
- Toe Touch
Extension Core Exercises
The core is three dimensional. We need to attack it from every angle to maximize health and prevent injuries.
Extension exercise isolate your low back muscles. You could think of them as anti-flexion exercises that resist folding forward through the lumbar spine.
These exercises target the posterior core. The anterior core muscles don’t get much love..
- Back Extensions
- Reverse Hypers
- Superman’s – I don’t recommend you do these.
Anti-Extension Core Exercises
Anti-extension exercises resist bending through the low back. Extension of the spine occurs when your back arches backwards.
This is an especially important exercise for athletes because it trains and strengthens their core in order to maintain a neutral spine position when performing overhead activities.
- Dead Bug
- Fall Out
- Leg Lowering
- Plank Variations
- Ab Wheel
- Stability Ball
- Stir the Pot
- Suspension Strap
- Posterior Resisted Overhead Press
- Stir the Pot
Lateral Flexion Core Exercises
- Side Bends
- Side Plank Crunch
Anti-Lateral Flexion Core Exercises
The goal of anti-lateral flexion is to resist side bending. Think about caring your groceries in or holding a baby. The extra weight on the one side forces the core muscles on the other to hold you up straight and not bend to the side.
- Farmers Walk
- Suitcase Carry
- Side Plank
- Overhead Pallof Press (Lateral)
- Waiter’s Carry
Rotation Core Exercises
Powerful rotation is a key athletic quality for many sports. Think golf, baseball, and tennis.
- Russian Twists
Anti-Rotation Core Exercises
Anti-rotation exercises train and strengthen your core to resist twisting movements.
Anti-rotation core exercises target your deep core and obliques by working the transverse plane of motion.
- Bird Dog
- Pallof Press
- Planking Alternating Leg & Arm Raise
Combination Core Exercises
These exercises don’t fit well into a single category because they hit so many boxes.
- 1-leg Suspension Fallout
- Get Up
- ½ Get Up
- Mountain Climbers
- Band Resisted Plank Variations