8/8/14

Reveal You Abs! [31 Free ab Exercises]

Everyone wishes that underneath their shirt sit 6 perfectly placed ab muscles, all glistening with the hard work that it took to earn them. Each ridge is like a badge of success waving its flag of war against fat. Yes, the glorious six pack trumps most any successes when it comes to aesthetic success.

However, the path to abs is not paved with good intentions or thousands of crunches. No, abs are a delicate beauty that have to be nurtured. If you neglect you abs for even a day, you could lose them and all of their glory. So, if abs aren’t the product of a bunch of crunches and an iron abs DVD, what are they?


What Makes Abs?

The Kitchen
First and foremost, abs are made in the kitchen. Cliché, I know, but it’s true. Men especially, but even women, store body fat around the abdominal area. High amounts of bodyfat around the abdomen are shown to increase a person’s mortality. Which means a big belly is unflattering and unhealthy.  No amount of crunches will make up for 3 inches of adipose tissue. Abs start and stay when a good diet is used. Dropping things like processed food, high sugar foods, high calorie meals, and overconsumption of calorie laced beverages can help reveal your hidden six-pack.
not going to help with your ab reveal

To figure out how many calories you burn daily just by being alive you can use this formula. (h = height in cm; W = weight in kg; a = age )

The Harris-Benedict equation for BMR:
  • For men: (13.75 x w) + (5 x h) - (6.76 x a) + 66
  • For women: (9.56 x w) + (1.85 x h) - (4.68 x a) + 655
Just by simply reducing your caloric intake, you will add a stressor to your body which will aid in weight loss.

The Resistance
Let me ask you a few questions. You have biceps right? Most people do. When you do curls, do you grab a weight and knock out a few reps, or do you move your hands hundreds of times until your arms get tired? No body builder would ever recommend that you flop your hands around; you need some resistance! So why do people do thousands of sit ups without any weight? Ab regimens should always revolve around a core weighted exercise. Likewise lifting heavy weights will strengthen your abs. When we squat, deadlift, or Olympic lift heavy barbells our abs fully engage to support out spine. This heavy resistance is like doing a max crunch for each rep. If you aren’t satisfied with that, feel free to add in some more exercises!

I break the workouts into 3 categories; easy, intermediate, and hard. If you were to do an ab workout containing 5 ab exercises I would do 1 weighted 2 easy and 2 intermediate. I’d only try Hard when you’re looking for a serious challenge. Perform all ab exercises with several sets and reps between 15 and 25.

Easy:
Slide Crunch
Sit on the ground and bend your knees. Slide your hands up your quads to the top of your knees and hold them there for a count.
Crunch
Lay on the ground and put your hands behind your head. Bend your knees and crunch your elbows to the top of your knees.
Leg Raise
Lay on the ground and place your hands under your butt. With legs locked out raise only your feet by flexing your abs. Raise them from the floor to perpendicular to the floor.
Flutter kicks
Lie on the ground and place your hands under your butt. With legs locked out  raise them six inches from the ground and kick them, with rhythm, for reps. Start by kicking right up first, and left down then switch.
6-12-24
Lie on the ground and place your hands under your butt. With legs locked out raise them six inches and pause, then raise them to 12 inches and pause, then raise them to 24 inches and pause, then back down to 6 inches and pause. That’s one rep.
Toe Touches
Lie on the ground and lock your legs out, then raise them perpendicular to the ground and raise your shoulders up to touch your toes then back down.
Side Crunch
Lie on one of your sides and bend your knees. If you’re laying on your left side raise your right elbow up and your knees up to meet. Flex your side.
Reverse Crunch
Lie on the ground with your hands either under your butt or behind your head. Extend your legs so that they’re locked out, then crunch them in bringing your knees to your chest and push them back out.
Bicycle Crunch
Lie on the ground with your elbows behind your head. Pick your knees up and, as if you were riding a bicycle, bring one knee up and to your opposite elbow, then kick it out and switch to the next leg and elbow.

Plank
Lay on the ground, stomach first, and place your elbows underneath you. Flatten your back and try to pull your belly button into your spine. Make sure your chin is over your hands.
Walking Plank
Get in the plank position and, one arm at a time, walk into the pushup position. Then drop your elbows and go back into plank position.
Ankle Touch
Lie on the ground and raise your knees up, keeping your feet on the ground. Place your hands past your butt and with your right hand grab your left ankle, then with your left hand grab your right ankle.

Intermediate:
Bridges
Get in the pushup position and walk your feet towards your hands until your butt is in the air, and then walk back down.
Caterpillar Crunch
Get in the pushup position and walk your hands towards your feet until your butt is in the air, and then walk back down.
Vertical Leg Crunch
Lie on the ground in the toe touch position, but putt your hands under your butt. Use your abs to lift your lower back off the ground to raise your feet into the air.
VUp
Lie on the ground with your legs locked out and your hands stretched out past your head. Raise your feet up and your shoulders off the ground. Touch your hands and your feet together.
Frogger Crunch
Lie on the ground  with your legs locked out and your hands stretched out past your head. Raise your shoulders off the ground  while you bring your knees into your chest and grab them, extend out and repeat.
Weighted Situp
Hold a weight to your chest and get into the crunch position. Sit up and put your elbows on your knees, all while keeping the weight high on your chest.

Plank Jacks
Get in the pushup position, making sure to keep your feet together. Then hop your feet apart and back together, making sure to keep your body as tight as possible.
Plank Oblique Crunch
Get in the pushup position and  take your knee, lift it to the side (like a dog going on a hydrant) and then drive it as close to your armpit as possible. Put it back and repeat with the other.
Superman
Lie on your stomach and place all of the weight on your abdomen by raising your hands and feet off the ground for either time, or reps.
Cross Hypers
Lie on your stomach and simultaneously raise your right hand and left foot off the ground; trying to get your entire leg and arm/shoulder up. Switch leg/arm and repeat.
T Raise
Get in the plank position, on elbows, and lift your left arm up and rotate so that you can point towards the ceiling; hold for a second. Go back down and switch arms.
Wood Chops
Find a med ball and raise it overhead in a oval motion, as if you were chopping wood, then slam the ball into the ground as hard as you can. Then switch which side you swing and throw from; crunch your abs as hard as you can.
Lateral Toss
Hold a med ball near a wall, and  make sure your feet are planted. By rotating your torso (feet don’t move) use your abs to crunch towards the wall.

Hard:
Toes To Bar
Hold the pullup bar and be fully extended. Raise your toes as high as you can crunching your body and putting your toes towards the bar.

Knees & Elbows
Hold the pullup bar and be fully extended, bring your knees up and crunch your body so that your knees and elbows meet.

Hanging Knee Raise
Hold the pullup bar and be fully extended, bring your knees up as close to your chest as possible and hold for a count and then lower.
Med Ball Throw
Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Sit up and toss the ball in the air, or at a partner. When the ball falls back or is thrown back catch it and sit back down.
Trunk Extension
Lie on a bench with someone holding your feet, or on a hyper/GHD machine, with a small weight in one of your hands. Raise your arm towards the ceiling with the weight in your hand, and lower your body towards the ground (making sure to keep your body facing towards the wall) then raise the weight up and crunch your side.
GHD Situp
Hold a weight and either have someone hold your feet, or get on a hyper/GhD machine, and lower your body trying to get your head as close to the ground as possible (You’re facing the ceiling). Then Crunch up as high as you can and touch your knees to your elbows.


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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.