if you want to be proud of yourself when you take off your shirt, this article is definitely for you. When the time comes for the next ab day, you might want to try some of these incredibly effective exercises to make sure you hit those abs as hard as possible. Make sure to drop your carbs too because as we all know you need to shred, not pack on as much fat as you can. Put down the fork, put away that chocolate chip marble cake and let’s begin.
Ab wheel rollouts
We suggest you do this exercise when you want to make sure that your core strength is up to par, but be warned – your abs will straight out hurt the next day and the slightest sensation like tickling or sneezing will produce eye-watering pain! However, the results will be worth it, as your core muscles will end up being rock-hard. Who wants soft abs, right?
This exercise can be performed in a bunch of different styles, but the default one is with an ab wheel. However, I recognize that not everyone owns ab wheels nor does every gym have them, so you can also use alternatives such as round dumbbells, barbells, or a TRX-like suspension trainer.
Let’s say that you actually have an ab wheel – get down on your knees on a fitness mat, take the wheel by the handles and roll forwards as much as you can! Your abs will start hurting immediately but it will be worth it! Remember to keep your back straight and do 10 reps of it, for two sets. If you tried it and you feel absolutely nothing, try doing these from a standing position, doing the roll and then returning to a standing position. It will definitely start hurting and your abs will be a step closer to being perfect!
Cable ab rotation
This exercise might be familiar to you because of its other, more unusual name – the “Wood chopper”. It received this name because it looks awfully similar to the motion that a lumberjack performs when he’s cutting down a tree with an axe. This exercise will mostly benefit your side abs, so do it in combination with other, front-abs exercises.
To perform this exercise, approach a cable pulley and adjust it so that it is at waist-height. Grab the handle with both of your hands and turn your back to the machine. Alternatively, you can also do this exercise while facing it sideways. Then, rotate your torso while keeping your arms as firmly locked as possible. Stop when your torso comes in full line with your legs. Then, rotate your torso back again until you reach your starting position. Do this exercise for 13 reps per set, for a total of two sets.
When you’re done with the cable ab rotations, you can still use the pulley for another exercise for your abs. Put a rope on it and raise the pulley to head height. Then, take the rope and drag it down to knee level, getting on your knees in the process. Put the rope on the sides of your your neck, like you were about to hang yourself. Then, move your elbows strongly towards your thighs, like you were about to pray. If you want to boost the effect of this exercise even more, push out your elbows a bit and do the full range of motion available, touching your head to the mat. This exercise should be performed for a high number of reps, anywhere from 15 to 20 of them, for three sets.
For this one, you don’t need any machines or gym equipment. This exercise utilizes your bodyweight and will work just as fine as the other ones. It looks perfectly easy to do but once you get cracking you will realize it is actually much harder than previously thought. Sit down on the floor or the fitness mat and lift your legs off the ground just slightly. Following that move, join your hands and interlock your fingers so that they will not separate.
After that, start rotating your entire upper body to the left, while your feet slightly move to the right. Then rotate your body right and have your feet move slightly to the left. Presto, you just did a single rep! However, this is also a very high rep exercise, so you will need at least 30 and at most 40 more reps to do a single set. Basically, you will need to perform this exercise last, after all of your other exercises and right before you go home, so do it until you reach muscle failure and you can’t move anymore. If this exercise is way too easy for you, grab any type of weight in your hands and do the same. A dumbbell, kettlebell or heavy plate will do just fine.
This exercise will work your entire abdominal muscle group and will strengthen your core muscles as well. To perform this exercise, lay down flat with your entire body and stretch out both your hands and your toes in opposite directions. Then, simultaneously raise your arms and legs until the tips of your fingers touch the tips of your toes. However, this movement needs to be controlled, not rapidly irrational, so with the same control, drop both your arms and your legs down to their starting positions.
If you want to push this exercise to the edge, don’t drop your legs down to the ground between reps. Keeping your legs up keeps your abdominal muscles activated and will have a greater effect as well as hurting more, which means it’s going to work more. If this is still not enough, grab a medicine ball and try it like that. Try to pass the medicine ball between being held in your hands and between your feet. If that is still not enough, grab a kettlebell or a heavy weight and to the same, without passing them to your feet.
This one may just be the hardest exercise to perform correctly. To do that, just lay down on your back, raise your legs slightly, raise your upper back off the ground and put your hands behind your head. At this point, the only thing touching the ground should be the upper part of your buttocks. To perform this exercise, start moving your legs in opposite directions, in a fluttery movement. Keep them at medium height, but don’t raise them too much and don’t touch the ground.
This exercise is the gym version of that “the floor is lava” game, and it is equally exhausting – all of your core muscles will hurt like never before and you will be in massive pain after just a fraction of a minute of doing it. However, doing flutter kicks is worth it because in the end your abs will look like that of Brad Pitt in Fight Club. This exercise, like the Russian twist is a finisher exercise, which means you should do it all the way to muscle failure, in one set for as many reps as you can handle. Crank out 30 or 40 of them, but remember, one rep is a movement that starts and ends in the same position, so don’t go halving the rep number! It may be exhausting and you will wish that you didn’t do it in the end but after the effects take place you’ll wish you did it sooner.