Although sit ups and crunches are probably the most well-known abdominal exercises in the world, they definitely are not the most effective.
Your abdominal muscles are not meant only for flexion and extension of the spine, and should be trained much more thoroughly than this.
Check out the exercises below for a wide range of abdominal exercises that will have your core strong and shredded!
If you want more help in finding exercises for your mid-section that aren’t in this article, you should head to www.SixPackAbsAdvice.com for exercises that will help you build a shredded physique!
5 Best Core Exercises for a Six Pack
The high plank may seem to be just the starting position of a push-up, but it is actually a comprehensive abdominal exercise, with many intense variations!
The high plank is an excellent exercise to improve shoulder stability, as well as strengthen the full scope of your core muscles.
Variations of the high plank include mountain climbers, lifting either one hand or one foot, adding weight on to your back, or performing the plank on an instability device.
Further variations are possible as well, but these are just some beginner movements for you to work on!
High planks should be mastered before you move on to any more technically difficult exercises to ensure that you have sufficient back strength and control over your abdominal muscles, in order to protect yourself from injury.
Although it is more commonly thought of as a lower body exercise, the glute bridge is an excellent exercise for strengthening your transverse abdominal muscles, and helping you to achieve proper standing posture.
One of the fundamental issues with exercises such as sit ups and crunches is that they are constantly putting your neck and spine in to a straining motion.
Especially if you are a person who consistently performs these exercise, glute bridges are necessary to balance out the mechanics of your body.
Glute bridges can be enhanced by performing them unilaterally, with your feet raised to an elevated position, or with your feet on an instability device such as a physio ball.
If you are a person who is looking to compete in any type of powerlifting event, or simply desiring to squat and deadlift huge numbers; mastering the glute bridge and a few advanced variations is recommended.
Forearm Side Plank
Many people believe that side-to-side crunches or “Russian twists” are the best exercises for your oblique’s, but both exercises place huge amounts of strain on your spine.
If you are looking for V-shaped abdominal muscles and a solid core, forearm side planks are the way to go.
Isometric exercises are proven over and over to be incredible for building abdominal strength, and a functionally useful core.
Holding a forearm side plank for 45 seconds or more will definitely have you feeling strong, but there are more advanced variations as well. You can advance this movement by lifting your top leg off the ground, holding a dumbbell over your head for additional weight, or playing around with various instability devices.
Heavy carries are possibly the number one exercise for building a strong, shredded, and functional core; and could be the only core movement you need to perform.
In fact, you could even think of all of these other movements as accessory movements to the farmer’s carry! Farmer’s carry force almost (literally) every muscle in your body to contract, as you carefully carry a heavy object for a certain distance and amount of time.
You can alternate the amount of distance you move the weight, with the amount of weight, to give your core new and exciting challenges.
You can also off-set the weight on your body by holding more weight on one side than the other, or by holding no weight on one side at all. These variations are definitely for the more advanced trainee, but they will absolutely smoke your core muscles!
One last “core” exercise is not exactly a core-specific movement at all, but it will shred your midsection in no-time!
Have you ever seen a sprinter without a 6 pack of shredded abs? No?
Well neither have we!
Sprinting should never be done without a thorough warm-up, and there is rarely a need to sprint for more than 95% of your maximum power.
Sprints of between 50 and 400 meters put an incredible amount of torque on your core muscles, forcing you to contract and control your abdominals with every stride.
Add in a few sets of sprints 1 or 2 times per week and you will quickly see a difference in your physique!