These 4 Abs Exercises Can Help You Build a Ripped Six Pack

These 4 Abs Exercises Can Help You Build a Ripped Six Pack

Building your ab muscles is a fairly straightforward endeavor: pick a couple of exercises each for upper and lower abs and then work hard and progressively on those movements over time. Sometimes, though, you want to spice things up and try something new.

These four little-used abs exercises can keep your training fresh AND help you build a ripped six pack.

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Ab Roller

An oldie but a goodie, the ab roller (or ab rollout) works your entire abdominal wall from your pelvis to your rib cage. Your arms, chest, lats, and legs get a pretty decent hit, too.

To perform this exercise, you need some sort of wheel with a tw0-fisted handle and a radius of a few inches. If you don’t have an ab wheel, you can use an adjustable dumbbell and load one or two small plates in the middle.

Kneel on a mat or carpet and grasp the handles of the wheel in front of you. Lean forward so that your upper legs are perpendicular to the floor and the wheel is underneath your chest area. Then, slowly roll the wheel forward until your arms are extended with your hands in front of the top of your head, then contract your abs to reverse the movement. Your arms should remain stiff throughout, and focus on making your abs do the work.

Plank

Planking was popular a few years ago, but not everyone realizes that it can be a great static ab exercise if you do it right.

Stretch out on the floor and get into the standard push-up position except, instead of using your hands, put your forearms flat on the floor beneath you and support your upper body on your elbows. Then tighten your abs to raise your abdomen off the floor, tensing your body into a straight line angling from your feet at one end through your head at the other. Hold this plank pose for 60 seconds or longer, and if you can’t make it that far, do a few “sets” until you get your full time in.

Hanging Leg Raises

This is an advanced exercise that requires a decent amount of strength to do well, but it can yield great results for your lower abs “V”.

Grab an overhead bar — a chin-up station usually works well — with an overhand grip at shoulder width, or maybe a bit wider. Start with your body hanging straight down and your feet a couple inches off the floor. Then, keep your legs straight as you lift them slowly through an arc, moving your feet toward your head using a slow, steady contraction of your (lower) abs. Pause briefly at the top and then resist hard as your return your legs to the starting position.

Roman Chair Crunches

Another oldie, and another advanced move, Roman chair crunches can really thicken your abdominal wall. To perform them, sit cross-ways on a flat bench or a flat bottom chair and hook your feet under a stationary object. From the upright position, lean back very slowly until your back is parallel with the floor. Now, curl your torso up as you would with a normal crunch, but allow your spine to come up slightly above parallel with the floor by engaging your hip flexors. Contract hard at the top and then lower smoothly to the starting point.

This is a subtle movement that takes a bit of practice to get right, but the ab contraction is intense, and the hip action makes it a strong compound move.

While these exercises may not be mainstays in most ab-building programs, they can help you carve out the midsection you want.

These moves are also pretty advanced and can be difficult to pull off, so talk to your doctor first to make sure that you don’t have any underlying health issues that might cause you problems. You should also get hands-on instruction for any new exercise from your trainer to help you hone in on perfect form.

Then go ahead and give them a shot, but be prepared for some new soreness.


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