Tone Up With the Top Ab Exercises for Women & Men
Who doesn't love â€“ both to have and to behold â€“ beautifully chiseled abs? That's why we've compiled a list of the top ab exercises for men and women by consulting two of our awesome ambassadors â€“ Chandler Rogers brings us the top ab exercises for women, while Alex Blais gives us the top ab exercises for men. Feel the burn when you add these ab exercises to your routine!
Top Ab Exercises For Women
Compiled by Chandler Rogers
Abs, abs, absâ€¦ we all want a nice 6 pack (and not just the bag) to sport around, but it is much more difficult to obtain than we think! Through this post, you will be able to grab some knowledge on my recommendations for the top ab exercises.
1. Toes to Bar
There are many different exercises you can do from a hanging bar, but one of my top ab exercises are Toes to Bar. I am not a CrossFit athlete, but I have participated in the sport. The name speaks for itself â€“ bring your toes to the bar while hanging down. Keep your core tight and do not swing!
Chandler in the first position of this exercise.
2. Oblique Twist With Weight (Russian Twist)
Simply sit on the floor balancing on your tailbone, lean backwards at an incline, grab a weight (I prefer 10 lbs.) and bring the weight side-to-side while balancing to work your obliques!
3. Alternate Arm to Foot
Lie flat on the floor and simply bring your opposite arm to opposite foot and keep the motion going. This is a great exercise even when you are not at the gym!
4. Cable Tricep Rope Crunches
Grab a tricep rope and attach it to the cable area at your gym, get on your knees, and crunch down, while allowing your abs to pull you down!
5. Oblique Crunches from Hanging Bar
While hanging down from a hanging bar, bend your knees at an angle. Simply crunch up to the right side, then alternate to the left to target the obliques.
6. Partner Leg Pushdowns
If you have a gym partner, lie on your back and have your partner push your legs down. Don't let your legs touch the ground, but bring them back up and repeat. You are targeting your lower ab area. If you do not have a partner, bring your legs up and down without touching the ground!
These top ab exercises can be done at the gym or at home. Set your timer for about 30 seconds, keep your body completely straight while holding yourself up with your arms and legs (on the floor) and hold your core TIGHT! To challenge yourself even more, start on your forearms and go up on your arms. Keep that motion going!
I usually incorporate my top ab exercises in all of my daily workouts; I like to hit at least two ab exercises, five days a week during my workouts. I normally keep my reps about 15-20 per set! Ab exercises are great, but remember that meal prep is key to having success in the gym. Thanks to 6 Pack Bags, I stay prepped everyday!
Top Ab Exercises For Men
Compiled by Alex Blais
1. Stomach Vacuums
Vacuums are great to tighten up your waistline. Take a deep breath, filling your lungs to maximum capacity so your rib cage can expand fully. Exhale as much as possible. Once that is done, concentrate on sucking in your belly button toward your spine. Without any air in your lungs you should be able to create a Vacuum effect (your chest and shoulders should be as square as possible). Concentrate on the contraction â€“ don't just suck in your stomach, focus, and feel your abdominal belt tightening up. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Do these for 3-5 sets, 2-3 times throughout the day.
2. Hanging Leg Raises
Find yourself a pull-up bar, or anything that will allow you to to hang with your body straightened and completely off the ground. Take a deep breath in and then exhale. Once your lungs are empty, contract your midsection, making sure everything is tight and your upper body is straight. Slowly raise your knees up toward your chest, concentrating on keeping your abdominal muscles tight and upper body as straight as possible. We are working abs, not your back! Slowly let your legs return to starting position, don't just let them fall. Control the descent and feel your abdominal muscles stretch as you return to starting position.
3. Cable Twists
Set up a pulley at shoulder height, then clip on a single handle. Create tension on the weight by stepping away from the machine; your feet should be aligned with your shoulders. Grab the handle with both hands, extend your arms forward, creating a triangle with your chest as the base and handle as the tip. While keeping everything tight, you will contract your abs and twist from the waist. You want to make sure you never break your triangle. Tension on your arms should allow you to keep everything in perfect form, which will force you to only use your midsection.
4. Cable Crunches
Set up a pulley at the highest point with a rope as an attachment. Grab both ends and take a step back. Place your hands on each side of your head by your ears, keeping your legs straight and slowly contract your abs as you crunch towards your knees. Exhale as you go down, allowing you to tighten up your midsection as much as possible. Return to starting position slowly and concentrate on feeling your abs stretch back to their original position.
5. Jackknife Sit-Ups on Bench
Position yourself on a bench with your butt as close to the edge as possible. Place your hands on the edge of the bench beside you. Extend your legs out completely, toes pointing out. Lean backwards slightly â€“ you want to keep your whole body as straight as possible, creating a 45-degree angle with the bench. Exhale and contract your abs while you bring your your knees back towards your chest.
Alex Blais competes with the WBFF in the fitness model division and is currently working towards becoming a firefighter. He loves anything that gets him out and about and is always looking for new ways to push himself and enjoy physical activity! Follow him on Instagram.
First three photos courtesy of Chandler; last photo and all videos courtesy of Alex.