Most people think that they need to do endless crunches or sit-ups to get ripped abs. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, these types of exercises can actually do more harm than good.
Instead, you need to focus on exercises that work the entire core musculature. This includes the rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscle), the external obliques (side muscles), and the internal obliques (deep muscles).
Here are some of the best exercises for developing strong, ripped abs:
Deadlifts are a great exercise for targeting the entire posterior chain, including the muscles of the back and legs. However, they also work the core muscles hard. When done correctly, deadlifts force you to maintain a neutral spine, which engages the abs and other core muscles.
2. Farmer’s Walks
Farmer’s walks are another great exercise for targeting the posterior chain. However, unlike deadlifts, they also work the shoulders and arms. This makes them a great exercise for overall upper-body development.
In addition, farmer’s walks force you to stabilize your core, which works the abs and other muscles of the midsection.
3. Front Squats
Front squats are a variation of the traditional back squat. The only difference is that the bar is held in front of your body instead of behind your neck. This places more emphasis on the quads and less on the hips and glutes.
However, front squats also force you to keep your torso upright, which engages the core muscles. Additionally, holding the bar in front of your body makes it harder to cheat and use momentum to lift the weight. This forces your muscles to work harder, which leads to greater gains.
4. Overhead Presses
Overhead presses are a great exercise for strengthening the shoulders and triceps. However, they also work the core muscles hard. This is because you need to maintain a stable torso when pressing the weight overhead. Otherwise, you’ll risk injuring your lower back or shoulders.
Pull-ups are a great exercise for targeting the back and biceps. However, they also work the abs and other core muscles hard. This is because you need to maintain a stable body when performing pull-ups. Otherwise, you’ll swing back and forth, which puts unnecessary stress on your joints and connective tissue.
Gym Equipment for Abs Workout
Abs are one of the most popular muscle groups to target when going to the gym. And for good reason! Not only does having a strong core help with daily activities and improve your posture, but it also makes you look great!
There are all sorts of different gym equipment that you can use to target your abs. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Ab Roller
The ab roller is a simple yet effective piece of equipment that is great for working your abs. It consists of a handle with a small wheel attached to the end. To use it, simply roll the wheel out in front of you as you kneel on the floor.
As you roll out, your abs will have to work hard to stabilize your body. Be sure to go slowly and controlled to really feel the burn!
2. Swiss Ball
A Swiss ball, also known as an exercise ball, is a great piece of equipment to use for ab workouts. There are all sorts of different exercises you can do with a Swiss ball, but our favorite is the Swiss ball crunch.
To do this exercise, simply lie down on your back with the Swiss ball in your hands. Place the ball behind your head and then crunch up towards it. As you come up, reach for the ball and try to touch it to your toes.
3. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are another great way to target your abs. There are all sorts of different exercises you can do with resistance bands, but our favorite is the standing resistance band crunch.
To do this exercise, stand on the resistance band and hold the handles in each hand. Place your hands behind your head and then crunch down, bringing your knees towards your chest. As you come up, reach for the handles and try to touch them to your toes.
Dumbbells are not just for biceps curls! They can also be used for some great ab exercises. One of our favorites is the dumbbell side bend.
To do this exercise, stand up tall with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly bend over to one side, letting the dumbbells hang down towards the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight as you bend over. Return to the starting position and then repeat on the other side.
Home Equipment for Abs Workout
When it comes to working out at home, there are a few key pieces of equipment that can really help you get the most out of your workout, and help you target those pesky trouble areas. If you’re looking to tone your abs, then these are the must-have pieces of equipment for your home gym.
1. Stability Ball
This is a great piece of equipment for a full-body workout, but it’s especially useful for toning your abs. The instability of the ball forces your core muscles to work overtime to keep you balanced, and the range of motion possible with the ball means you can target all those difficult-to-reach areas.
2. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are another great way to target your abs while working out at home. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be used in a variety of ways to work different muscle groups. For abs, try using them for crunches or Russian twists.
Dumbbells are a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises, including those that target the abs. Dumbbells can be used for weighted crunches or oblique raises. They’re also great for adding resistance to ab exercises like Pilates crunches or planks.
4. Exercise Mat
An exercise mat is a must-have for any at-home workout, and it’s especially important when working on your abs. The mat provides a comfortable, cushioned surface to protect your back and hips during floor exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and leg lifts. It also helps to keep you from slipping and sliding during workouts.
5. Ab Roller
The ab roller is a great way to target all of the muscles in your core, including the difficult-to-reach lower abs. The ab roller works by resistance, so the more you roll, the more resistance you create. Start with slow, controlled rolls and work your way up to faster movements as you get stronger.