Ab Exercises That Put You
On The 6-Pack Path

Forget about boring sit-ups. The most effective ab exercises are dynamic, fun and form great circuit workouts.

Don't take my word for it, try them yourself! The days of doing 100+ sit-ups a day are gone. Who wouldn't get bored of repeating the same thing over and over? I know I did.

That's what forced me to find new ways to work my abs, a variety of dynamic exercises.

Want to get motivated? Click here to submit your exercise pictures.

Avoid Injury SideNote

Your abs (abdominal muscles) only form a part of your core. To keep your body stable and safe from injury, you should do back exercises and general core exercises too.

  • Click here for more information on core exercises.

  • Click here for back exercises.

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    Ab Exercises - The 6-Pack Abs Mystery

    There's so much information about 6-pack abs, where do you start? It's a bit like trying to find "The Mysterious Cities of Gold"! You have some inspiration to get started, then are led down all the wrong paths.

    So let's keep things simple. To give yourself the best chance of getting 6-pack abs, you need a combination of:

  • Fat burning exercises.
  • These include interval training, circuit training (e.g. ab exercises) and strength exercises. Activities like swimming and pilates are great for burning fat.

  • Healthy Balanced Diet.
  • If you're going to burn that excess fat, you don't want to put it straight back on. Take a look at the "exercise fitness diet" pages to find the best way to do this.

    Simple right? If you burn the fat off from above your stomach, you will see your 6-pack abs. Then it's a matter of continuing the 2 points above. Fat burning exercises and a healthy diet will keep you trim and build your muscle tone (i.e. improve the outline of your 6-pack abs).

    Yes, it's easier said than done. Some people's body shape shows their 6-pack abs quite easily. For others it takes more work. But don't be disheartened because no matter what, anyone can get 6-pack abs.

    As long as you know it's an achievable goal, you'll keep the motivation to keep going. Once you have the 6-pack abs you always wanted, it's the most amazing feeling. It is worth the effort!
    Here are 5 more tips on your way to a flat stomach and 6-pack abs.

    Ab Exercises - Your Circuit Workout

    You've seen above that ab exercises are only a part of getting 6-pack abs. They will put you on the path to that toned stomach, but are no way designed to achieve it on their own.

    Actually, ab exercises are primarily focused on building core stability and strength. This helps protect your spine from injury, in any activity at any level and in everyday life (please see the links above in the "Avoid Injury SideNote" before starting ab exercises).

    Down to the ab exercises. Remember I mentioned dynamic exercises? Well that means involving movement. Forget the traditional sit-ups, lying on the floor till you're half dead approach.

    Dynamic ab exercises involve moving your whole body. Movement that focuses on working your abs, whilst working your arms and/or legs too.

    Circuits are the best way to get the most effective workout. Circuit workouts are simply a series of different exercises, one after the next (with short rests, 10 to 30 seconds, between each exercise).

    You may decide to create a circuit from these ab exercises, then another circuit for your back exercises. Or you could create a circuit with a mix of back and ab exercises. Either way, make sure you do an equal amount of both.

    You can experiment with the order of exercises. It's totally up to you, depending on how hard or easy you find each exercise.

    Essential equipment for these ab exercises: an exercise mat, ab ball (stability/exercise ball) and ab wheel.

    Here are the best ab exercises to choose from: (Remember your warm up and cool down)

  • Ab Wheel Exercises.. Kneel on the exercise mat, holding the ab wheel with both hands below shoulders. Roll down keeping your arms and back straight, forehead towards the floor. Focus on your abs as you roll back up. Repeat 5 times.

    Progress by increasing repetitions. Once you find this easy, you can advance to a standing start. This puts more pressure on your back and abs so don't do too much too soon.

  • Jack-Knife On Ab Ball.. Get into the push-up position (arms straight), with your feet resting on the ab ball. Bring your knees in towards your chest, rolling the ab ball forward with the top of your feet. Keep your arms straight and let your bottom go up (lift your body forward). Roll the ab ball back out to your starting position. Repeat 5 times.

    Progress by increasing repetitions. You can vary this exercise by adding a push-up. Go down as you roll in, and push up as you roll out.

  • Mountain Climber Twists.. Get into the push-up position (arms straight), toes on the mat. Keep your upper body stable throughout. Bring your right knee up towards your left arm, then back down to the starting position. That's one movement, your feet should only touch the floor in the starting position. Repeat with your left knee up to your right arm. Repeat 5 times. Progress by increasing repetitions.
  • Bicycle Crunch.. Lie on your back, hands supporting the back of your head (elbows pointed to the sides), hips and knees bent at right angles (feet off the floor). Straighten your left knee whilst bending your right knee further. Use your abs to lift and turn your upper body to bring your left elbow towards your right knee (don't cheat by bending at your shoulder!). Repeat with the opposite knee and elbow to create a bicycle kicking action and simultaneous body rotation. Repeat 10 times.
  • Leg Raises.. Hold on to a chin-up bar, or any frame that you can grip on to that is high enough. Bend your knees slightly and take the weight through your arms and tighten your abs. Keeping your arms straight and the same bend in your knees throughout, lift your feet towards the sky. Hold for 2 seconds and come back down.
  • Ab Ball Crunch.. Lie with the ab ball under your lower back, feet flat on the floor and thighs parallel to the ground. Hands on your chest and feet close together. Use your abs to lift your body up 30-45 degrees and slowly come back down. The ball should be still throughout. Repeat 10 times.
  • Knee Lifts.. This ab exercise is actually best done on gym equipment called the "captain's chair". But we can improvise if you have 2 heavy (stable) stools. Make sure they can take your weight. With one on each side of you, rest your forearms on the stools, focus on your abs. Lift your knees up towards your chest and slowly back down. Repeat 5 times. Keep your back straight and don't use momentum to swing your knees up.
  • U-Crunch.. Lie on your back, lift your legs up towards the sky with a slight bend in your knees, hands on your chest. Use your abs to lift your body and create a "U" shape. You should feel your shoulder blades lift off the floor slightly, then come back down. Repeat 10 times.
  • Ab Ball Side Crunch.. Lie on your right side on the ab ball, legs together and straight, feet against the wall. You should have a straight line from your shoulders down to your feet as your starting position. Place your hands behind your head (elbows pointed to the sides). Crunch up to the side, making sure you don't move forward or backward, then come back down. Repeat 5 times. Repeat on your left side. Progress by increasing repetitions.
  • Combined Crunches With Ab Ball.. Grip ab ball between your feet and roll back on to the mat. Focus on keeping your lower back firmly pressed down on the mat throughout. Starting position has a slight bend in your knees, ball just above the floor. Hands behind your head (elbows pointed to the sides). Use your abs to lift your body up 30-45 degrees and to bend your knees up simultaneously, bringing the ball towards your body. Then come back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. (This exercise combines a normal crunch with a reverse crunch).
  • Ab Ball Pull In.. Get into the push-up position (arms straight), with your feet resting on the ab ball. Bring your knees down towards the floor, rolling the ab ball forward with the top of your feet. Keep your head, arms and upper body still throughout. Don't let your bottom go up (no body lift). Roll the ab ball back to your starting position. Repeat 5 times.

    You can vary this exercise with rotation. Bring your knees to your right side and back, then to your left side and back. Repeat 5 times.

  • 1 Legged Pull In.. This is similar to the "ab ball pull in", but with only 1 foot on the ball at a time. So get into the push-up position (arms straight), with your right foot resting on the ab ball, left foot in the air with knee bent forward. As you bring your right knee down (rolling the ab ball forward with the top of your foot), kick your left leg back. Again keep your head, arms and upper body still throughout. Don't let your bottom go up (no body lift). Then back to your starting position. Repeat 5 times. Repeat with your left foot.
  • Check out these bonus tips on 3 very special abdominal exercises.

    Final Word

    Remember, these ab exercises are to be done as a circuit workout. So you shouldn't be doing hundreds of repetitions of anything. Work up to a maximum of 20 reps. If you find some exercises harder, work on improving your reps for them rather than the easier ones.

    Pick 4 or 5 ab exercises in any 1 circuit. They will be enough to give you a good workout. Experiment by doing different exercises every other day, and in different orders. If you're new to the ab ball, work with a partner for assurance and feedback.

    For more variety and enjoyment, add some lower body exercises to these ab exercises in your circuits. Squats and thrusts with the ab ball are very challenging too.

    You will see the results of these ab exercises.

    If you keep working at your circuits, you'll be well on your way to those 6-pack abs.

    Best of all, you'll really enjoy doing ab exercises.

    Showcase Your
    Ab Exercises

    Get motivated to exercise. This your time to shine, by having your exercise pictures featured on this website in our special competition.

    Add your best pictures and tips for ab exercises below. Your picture will have its own web page, credited to you, and linked directly from this page.

    Grab a friend to do a workout with you, that way you'll keep each other motivated. Take pictures of each other exercising and come back here to show us your great exercises.

    If you have more pictures of other exercises, great! Just go to the relevant page for that exercise.

    Submit Your Pictures Here!

    Once you've submitted your picture and it's approved, you'll have your own web page! Then it's braggin' time with your friends and family - send them the link and they can comment on your page - or even add their own page.

    Submitting your ab exercise pictures and tips is really easy.

    Show us what you've got.. enjoy!

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    Check Out Other
    Ab Exercise Pictures

    Click on the links below to see some great pictures and tips for your ab exercises. They were all submitted by other visitors to this page..

    Bicycle Crunches in Costa Rica 
    Bicycle crunches in Costa Rica by Les Dishman. There's nothing better than exercise by the sea! Check out the exercise tips for Les's Bicycle Crunch …

    Lauren's Ab Ball Crunch 
    Here's my ab ball crunch!

    Best Ab Workout Not rated yet
    Good set of exercises. I just want to add some tips from me, very basic. I think that the biggest problem with getting flat stomach is that people often …

    Click here to write your own.

    Find Out More:
    Pictures of 100 Abdominal Exercises
    Visit Ab-Core-and-Stomach-Exercises.com to see pictures of over 100 ab exercises and get free ab workouts.

    Go to The Exercise Directory from Ab Exercises.
    Return to Better-Exercise-Fitness-For-Life Home from Ab Exercises.

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