Friday, May 30, 2008

Seven Awesome Ab Exercises

These seven ab exercises came in an email from Charles Staley. They look a bit different, which means they probably work at least a little bit.

There isn't anything too revolutionary about any of these, despite the hype. The best ab exercises will always involve holding a heavy weight overhead (overhead lunges, overhead squats, hanging leg raises, and so on). But variety is always good, too.

So Nick has very kindly provided me with links to 7 sample exercises (with pictures and video demos), taken directly from the book. Be sure to give them all a try!

I think you'll find your abs will be quite pleasantly trashed after doing these... :)

1. Pushdown Crunches to the Floor

If you're looking for an extremely intense contraction in the upper abs against resistance, this exercise is what you need. It places the majority of its tension on the abs in their most contracted position. It also hits the abs with a pushing movement rather than a pulling movement, giving it a VERY unique action on the midsection.

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises1.htm


2. Reverse Leg Raises

This exercise works the abs in a very unique fashion. It can be done using only bodyweight and actually uses the abs to draw the lower body up and in (bringing the pelvis towards the rib cage), rather than crunching the rib cage down towards the pelvis, as with most ab exercises. This is EXCELLENT for tightening the waist.

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises2.htm


3. Resting Forearm Cable Crunches

This exercise literally FORCES the obliques into proper alignment during a cable crunch movement. How you hold the bar while you're doing the exercise hits the obliques without torqueing the lower back. If you've ever had trouble feeling the side abs/obliques working when doing crunches to the side, this exercise is going to really surprise you!

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises3.htm


4. Seated Hanging Leg Raises

The hanging leg raise is an excellent abdominal exercise. This variation is not only easier on your lower back but helps to remove the hip flexors from the movement, all the while increasing the contraction on the abs. This exercise targets the abdominal muscles with an extremely intense contraction. The range of motion of the exercise is short but the tension on the abs is powerful.

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises4.htm


5. Dumbell Side-To- Sides

Developing the core muscles is essential for optimum lifting and sports performance. This exercise uses resistance and a side-to-side movement to directly work the muscles that are responsible for transferring power through your body (e.g. lower body to upper body).

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises5.htm


6. Two Dumbell Ball Twists

Using only a Swiss Ball and two dumbells, you can achieve an extraordinary ab-tightening contraction around the entire midsection musculature. This exercise places a great stretch on the obliques along with great tension, forcing quick abdominal development.

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises6.htm


7. Inverse Crunches

This exercise requires no equipment other than a floor and something solid to grab onto, e.g. a doorframe, a pole or even a solid table leg. It's an incredibly effective "zero-equipment" abdominal exercise - one of the best I've come across.

http://www.staleytraining.com/goto/be st-ab-exercises7.htm

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So take the next few days to give these exercises a try. See how your abs feel then imagine what kind of results you'll get from 70 MORE exercises just like these.

I like the reverse leg raises. I'll have to try those in my next workout.


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