The Best Exercises to Build Stomach Muscles
To get those six pack abs that you want, it’s going to take a lot of work to build muscles. The truth is that the stomach muscles are the hardest to work, and they’re the ones that go neglected most often. However, if you want to build that sleek, toned body that you dream of, it’s going to take effort and focus on your stomach muscles. Here are the five best exercises to build stomach muscles:
This exercise will force both your arms and your legs to work, which will build both the upper and lower portions of the ab muscles. Rather than just doing crunches with your torso – which uses the upper section of the abs – or doing leg raises – which uses the lower portion – you engage both halves of your body for a more complete workout.
This is one of the toughest exercises around, so make sure to take your time and work up to higher repetition sets. Focus on the form above all else.
For those who want a simple exercise that they can do immediately, the Russian Twist is one of the best. You can try it without weights at first, and slowly add pounds as your stomach muscles develop. It’s a fairly simple exercise, and it’s very good for your stomach and your oblique’s.
If you do this one right, it will tone both the front and sides of your stomach – giving you that six pack you want. Make sure to avoid moving too quickly, as that can strain your back as you lean backwards and engage your stomach muscles.
Hanging Leg Raises
This one is going to be very hard on your hands, as you’ll be hanging on to a pull-up bar as you lift. If you don’t have good power in your grip, you’ll be working out your forearm muscles at the same time as you work out your abs.
It’s going to be a tough one to do, so don’t worry if you can’t do too many reps. Just make sure that you pull your knees as high as you can. Bring them all the way up to your chest, and it will work those ab muscles very effectively.
If you prefer to stay in one position rather than moving around, this is an excellent static exercise to do. You can do it on your hands or your elbows, but rest assured that your stomach muscles will be protesting before you reach 30 seconds.
Focus on keeping your butt clenched and your hips tucked in. Keep your back as straight as you can, even though it will make the exercise harder. With the proper form, you’ll get excellent isolation for this exercise.
This exercise requires strength in both your hands and your abs, as well as good balance. If you have trouble with this one at first, that’s to be expected. Just keep trying, and work to get your knees up as high as you can while balancing your body.
Make sure to tighten your abs as you lift your knees, as that will make it easier to get them off the ground and up to your chest. Don’t hunch your shoulders, as it places too much strain on your neck muscles. Focus on holding for just a few seconds at a time, and lower yourself slowly back to the floor between sets.
- For strength gain, do 4 to 6 reps per set.
- For general fitness, do 12 to 15 reps per set.
- For endurance and weight loss, do 20 to 25 reps per set.