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8 Best Ab Exercises More Effective Than Sit-Ups

Here's the thing about sit-ups: they're a great introductory ab exercise, and they do help you tone up, but they only work one specific area of the abdominals — the rectus abdominis. You're ignoring other muscle groups that cultivate a sculpted six pack, like your obliques and transverse abdominals. It's time to branch out and embrace other ab exercises to really get the six-pack of your dreams. Here are the eight best exercises that are more effective than sit-ups to work your core.

PUSHUP WALKOUTS

This is one move that'll give you rock hard abs as it engages your entire core. Begin in a push-up position with your palms right under your shoulders. Tighten your core, and begin walking your hands past your head. Do this with control instead of rapid movements to really focus the effort on the abs. Hold the position for about three to five seconds if possible, before returning your hands to stating position. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.

PLANK

Just like the sit-up, the plank is a classic, but a more effective way to build core strength. While the breakdown of moves need little introduction, always ensure that you keep proper form. Your spine should be straight and your hips down. Any compromising of form sacrifices the effort on your core muscles, which is the last thing you want.

BICYCLE CRUNCHES

Not only does this move target your rectus abdominis, but also your obliques, which is what you want to train in order to get a sculpted V. Lie on the floor, and assume crunch position with your hands behind your head, with your knees lifted in a 45-degree position. Contract your ab muscles and tap your elbows to the opposite knee. Repeat on the other side, and that counts as one rep.

TURKISH GET UP

This works both the upper and lower body aside from your abs, while engaging your spinal flexibility. Lie on your back with your left arm extended above your chest, holding a dumbbell. Your left knee should bent, with your foot on the floor, and your right leg should be straight, angled slightly away from your body. Lift the dumbbell up and slowly extend your body as you crunch your abs. The leg at rest should now be under your body, in a kneeling position. Continue using the weight to chart your trajectory upwards, slowly getting your upper body to be upright. You should be standing by now. Do the movements in reverse to return to starting position and repeat.

WHEEL ROLLOUTS

Spinal health, as well as strong lower back muscles are inextricable from being able to train your abs, and this move works both. Get an ab wheel, a mat, and start off on your knees with the wheel under your shoulders. Roll forward, and return to starting position, repeating for the desired amount of repetitions.

HANGING LEG RAISES

This is an excellent exercise to engage your spine and abs, helping to straighten your spine. Head to either a pull up bar or a dip machine, and begin to raise your extended legs as far as you can go, before returning to the starting position. If you really want to train your abs, go slow, and really tense your core.

SUITCASE SQUATS

Squat variations seem to be the de facto exercise to training your body, and there's one for your abs as well. The suitcase squat also engages your quads and glutes. Have a dumbbell in one hand, standing with your legs shoulder width apart. Have your other arm straight out in front of you as you lower your body into a deep squat. Keep your upper body straight, being careful not to let the side with the weights sag. Swap the dumbbell over to the other arm, and repeat.

CABLE ROTATIONS

At a cable machine, stand with the cable extended right in front of you just below your shoulders. Keep your arms straight and core tight, and pull the cable while rotating your torso to the left, the centre and the right, before returning to the start. Repeat for desired amount of reps to sculpt your obliques.

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