We should be honest right from the beginning: with this article, we are not aiming to give you a specific exercise for the Bauchmuskulatur as the absolute non plus ultra for yours Sixpack for sale, as other authors try again and again. Rather, in the course of this article, we are about to present a selection of exercises that all present themselves as comparatively effective for building muscle. Of course, some exercises differ in their specific effectiveness due to certain anatomical and physical limitations, but this does not mean that just such an exercise would not have other advantages. As a result, you should not fall into the trap of selecting just one exercise, but several of our top 10.
Exercise 1 - Knee / leg raises on the spar (Hanging Knee / Leg Raises)
The main reason why it has made this exercise into our top 10 is not even in its effectiveness, but rather in its incredible variability, which makes it easy for you to influence both intensity and stress. Probably the most difficult variant is hanging on a pole, whereby you have to keep your body as stable as possible while pulling your stretched legs up as far as possible. While your entire abdominal muscles are being trained in this particular case, the focus is on the slightly lighter version, where you simply draw your straight or angled legs to the parallel, especially on the lower part of your abdominal muscles. Other variations include increasing intensity by using extra weights such as weight plates, dumbbells, or medicine balls that you clamp between your feet. In practical use, you should put this exercise first or second in your abdominal workout and set to 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Exercise 2 - Crunches on the machine
In our opinion, abdominal exercises that use extra weights are still being neglected by many exercisers. In fact, however, the crunches on the machine are an exercise that makes it easy to control the intensity with the flexibility of adding weights. In addition, the guided movement provides a high level of safety, allowing you to fully focus on your muscular senses as part of each repetition. On machines that work with plug-in weights, drop-set concepts can also be excellently implemented in order to set optimal growth stimuli. In your workout, you can apply this crunch variation in two ways. First, as a focus exercise for the lower abdominal muscles, by using high weights. And on the other hand as a burnout exercise at the end of the workout, but understandably lower weights are used. The bottom line is the rule of thumb: 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Exercise 3 - Cable Pallof Press
The exercise performed on the cable tends to be one of the luminaries of the abdominal muscle exercises, but enjoys due to its functional challenge, especially in top athletes of increasing popularity. In detail, you place yourself in front of a cable, grab the handle with both hands and rotate your upper body straight. This rotation puts especially the lateral abdominal muscles under tension, so that it can be optimally irritated. You can vary this exercise by not only extending your arms in front of your torso, but also alternately moving back and forth. Regardless of which variant you choose, the secret lies in the tension of the trunk muscles, which also addresses the lower-lying muscle strands. In practice, you should still focus on lighter weights, because it really depends on the duration of the contraction and not on the intensity of the tip contraction. Again, 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions are optimal.
Exercise 4 - Crunches on the cable in the knee
The great advantage of the crunch on the cable is again that you can control the resistance and thus the intensity of your abdominal muscle training. In the course of the execution, you kneel in front of the cable pull on which you have previously mounted the grip rope. Now grab the rope with both hands and place your hands at about the level of your chin. Slowly roll your upper body until your forehead touches your knees. Hold the position for two to three seconds and then return to the starting position. Overall, make sure that the position of your arms and hands does not change throughout the entire cycle, as the effectiveness of the exercise suffers greatly. This crunch variant is very well suited as the first or second abdominals exercise, with three to four sets of 10-15 reps considered optimal.
Exercise 5 - Crunches on the Negative Bank
In contrast to conventional crunches, crunches on the negative bench have some decisive advantages. The first thing that is striking is the increased range of motion that results from the height difference between the upper and lower body alone. This greater range of motion leads to a longer and stronger contraction of the abdominal muscles, which sets stronger growth stimuli. An additional factor that positively affects the erection is simply the difference in height, as the muscles are already under tension from the beginning. If the exercise is not intense enough for you, you have of course the option to use weight plates as additional weights. It's best to do this exercise towards the end of your workout, when your abs are already a bit tired.
Exercise 6 - Squats
Yes, even an exercise for the legs has made it into our top 10. But why? Quite simply, doing squats will put a heavier load on your torso than you might expect. The reason is obvious, because your organism must finally ensure that the weight resting on your shoulders is stabilized so that you do not fall over. This task is done by the abdominal muscles. It is no coincidence that many exercise plans combine leg training with abdominal training. The most effective way to take advantage of this passive training effect is to use classic squats as well as front squats as part of your leg workout. The latter, in particular, will make you work up a sweat and your abdominal muscles will push you to their limits with a corresponding workout weight.
Exercise 7 - Upper body turning on the bench
As part of this exercise, you'll first pick up a medicine ball or dumbbell and sit on a bench. Position the weight at about your chest and raise your upper body. Now you rotate your upper body alternately to the left and to the right side, whereby you should be careful to carry out the movement slowly and without momentum. This rotational movement responds primarily to the lateral abdominal muscles, which are often neglected in the course of many other exercise. The intensity of the exercise, however, you can increase by removing your arms with the additional weight a little further from your torso. Access the proven pattern: 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Exercise 8 - Ab-Wheel Roll-Out
The so-called Ab-Wheel is basically a training role with two grips, which allows you to carry out a dynamic training movement. In the so-called roll-out you activate your abdominal muscles as part of a natural movement from the neutral spine position to full extension. Studies with EMG measurements show that this type of exercise is much more effective in addressing the abdominal muscles than many comparable exercises, so you should always include this exercise in your workout if your studio has such a device. Due to the significantly increased level of difficulty of the exercise, you reduce the number of repetitions in the three sentences to 8-12.
Exercise 9 - Upper body straightening on the exercise ball
Of course, exercise balls are not just an option to sit on, though this is a very comfortable seat. It is no wonder that some resourceful fitness experts snapped up these widely used fitness equipment and made some attempts at creating new abdominal exercises. The result is the upper body straightening on the exercise ball (Exercise-Ball Pike), which is particularly effective for the upper area of the abdominal muscles according to supplementary EMG examinations of the California State University in Sacramento. In addition, the implied instability implies that the lateral abdominal muscles also stabilize and are thus heavily loaded. Recommended are two to three sets of 8-12 repetitions.
Exercise 10 - Forearm Support
Planks belong to the isometric holding exercises and thus focus primarily on the lower-lying muscle strands, which are essential for both the stabilization of the trunk and for the development of strength. Another reason that led us to include the exercise in our top 10 is its versatility, as even slight modifications of the load angle result in a shift of the load focus to the lateral, upper or lower abdominal muscles. In addition, Planks can be performed almost anywhere, so they also push for the short and crisp abdominal muscle workout in your own home. But in order to be able to set an adequate stress stimulus, you must make sure that you keep your muscles under tension for as long as possible. Accordingly, you should hold the position for at least 60 seconds before you pause as long and repeat the entire process three to five times.