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ab exercises 1.jpgJust how long have you been working for that elusive 6-pack? Even if you’ve mastered the method for putting on 10 pounds of muscle in a month, your core is probably still hard to tame. Most people find that abdominals are the hardest muscles to sculpt satisfactorily.

Good news! There are ways to get a 6-pack, even if nothing else has worked. Start with these 5 ab exercises. They are proven to transform core muscles.


Our Top 5 Ab Exercises

ab exercises crunch.jpg


#1: Reverse Crunch

Muscle Target:  Rectus Abdominis

How to:

  1. Start in a traditional crunch position.
  2. Bending the knee, lift your legs so that your calves are parallel to the floor while your thighs are perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Breathe in and draw your knees towards your head. Do not change your leg position. Your abs will be responsible for pulling your hips and knees toward your head.
  4. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Your shoulders, head, and arms are all that should be touching the floor.
  5. Relax your legs to the starting position.

Frequency and Reps:  Repeat 10 times per set. Perform 2 sets, 4 days a week.

Tip:  Stretch well and get your energy up before performing this exercise because it can be straining on the spine and blood pressure.

#2: Hanging Leg Raises


Muscle Target:  Full Upper Body plus Abdominal

How to:

  1. Hang from a pull-up bar.
  2. Keeping your torso and legs straight, tighten your abdominals while lifting your legs.
  3. Lift your legs to be perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Hold for 3 seconds.
  5. Lift your legs 3 inches higher.
  6. Hold for 3 seconds.
  7. Lift your legs 3 more inches.
  8. Hold for 3 seconds.
  9. Slowly lower your legs.
  10. Take a break from hanging off the pull-up bar for 10 seconds.

Frequency and Reps: Repeat 5 times per set. Perform 3 sets, 3 days a week.

Tip:  You’ll need upper body strength before you can perform this powerful exercise. Complete pull-ups for a few weeks ahead of time until your upper body strength is built up.

ab exercises hang.jpg#3: Cable Crunch

Muscle Target:  All Central Abdominals

How to:

  1. Weight a pulley and add a rope attachment.
  2. Holding the rope attachment, kneel facing the cable machine.
  3. Allow the weight to lightly stretch your abs.
  4. Contract your abs to bring your forearms to the floor without bending your waist.
  5. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  6. Hold the position for 5 seconds.
  7. Slowly rise to a kneeling position again, and then slowly stand.

Frequency and Reps:  Repeat 5 times per set. Complete 3 sets, 3 days a week.

Tip:  If this exercise is difficult, begin with standard weighted crunches until you are able to perform the cable crunch without back strain.

#4: Russian Twist

Muscle Target:  Internal and External Obliques

How to:

  1. Anchor your feet while lying on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Bending by contracting your abs, not moving your hips, raise your torso to create a “V” with your thighs.
  3. Extend your arms to be parallel to the floor.
  4. Twist your torso to the right.
  5. Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  6. Return to starting position.
  7. Repeat, twisting to the left this time.
  8. Return to starting position.
Frequency and Reps:  Repeat 10 times in each direction for a set. Perform 3 sets, 3 days a week.

Tip:  To make this exercise even more intense, perform it on a decline bench. You can also hold a weight to make this more extreme.

#5: Swiss Ball Rollout

Muscle Target:  Rectus Abdominis and Transversus Abdominis

How to:

  1. Kneel on the ground with your hands on a stability ball.
  2. Keep your back straight as you roll the ball as far forward as you can. Bend using only your abs.
  3. Slowly roll the ball back to starting position.

Frequency and Reps:  Repeat 10 times per set. Perform 2 sets, 4 days a week.

Tip:  You can target your oblique muscles with this exercise by rolling out at a 45-degree angle in either direction.

Make the Most Out of These Exercises

For exercises like these to have their maximum effect, you’ll need to supplement them with a body shaping routine. As male fitness models can attest: you have to work hard, eat like a fitness junkie, and exercise the rest of your body to really make your 6-pack pop.\

Back up these 5 ab exercises with Gold’s FREE 8 Week Shred program to get your core in its better shape.

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