It seems like there’s an endless list of abdominal muscle workouts to choose from—all detailed plans claiming to be better than the rest. So which will most successfully nail the muscles you’ve set your sights on developing? Consider this a clear and calculated walk through of the best of what the online workout universe has to offer on strengthening key ab muscles.
1. Plank Pike-Up
Grab one of those bouncy color balls at the gym for this dynamic exercise that brings together the core strengthening properties of the plank an exercise move that’ll hit both your upper and lower abdominal muscles at the same time. After all, nothing’s more frustrating than working and working and working away on developing a set of beach body abs, only to realize you’ve only toned the upper two or four!
2. Forward Swiss Ball Roll
The forward Swiss ball roll is an ingenious abdominal exercise—it’s a proven method of directly targeting and strengthening your transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is the deepest of your muscle layers, largely tasked with flexing the spine and sustaining ab pressure as you make minor, medium or small movements.
3. Swiss Ball Crunches With Leg Raises
This exercise hits in on your internal oblique muscles; muscles primarily responsible for contracting together each time you turn your body. When they’re developed properly, they can help you maintain a slimmer, trimmed out waist.
The age-old abdominal muscle sniper—the sit-up—is still claimed as one of the most effective exercises for targeting, and developing strength in your rectus abdominis. Your rectus abdominis makes up those desired bulges and ripples known as the six-pack. So long as you provide your neck muscles adequate cushioning (as well as your back), situps are impossibly accessible in the most crammed of environments, like a small hotel room on your latest business trip!
5. Torso Twist on Swiss Ball
The torso twist targets your external oblique muscles; these puppies are needed to regulate the rotation of your spine. Failure to strengthen your external oblique muscles can result in nuances such as debilitating back pains—the kind where most anything might sound better than moving and reaching and turning around for, well, anything. Avoid such pains, and toss the torso twist exercise into your workout routine next time you grace the gym!