10 Greatest Ab Exercise Workouts for Constructing Muscle

Chest | Again | Shoulders | Biceps | Triceps | Legs | Abs

Let’s get one factor straight: That is no late-night informercial, and we’re not going to attempt to promote you a single “finest ab train ever.” Too many have tried to make that declare, and it is simply not the case. The reality is, carving the proper six-pack requires quite a lot of workouts and months if not years of constant work.

That does not imply you should not attempt! It simply means you should get shifting. We have put collectively a full slate of top-level selections for constructing your abs, in no specific order, together with a quick rationalization of what makes each nice and—when obtainable—the analysis to again them up.  

This is how we selected them:

  • Ease of studying and performing
  • Complete muscle stimulation and depth
  • Reputation amongst diehard lifters and bodybuilders (This issues!)
  • Availability of kit in business gyms

However undoubtedly remember in regards to the kitchen! As registered dietician and bodybuilder Paul Salter explains in, “How Six-Pack Diet is a Totally different Beast than Health Diet,” the extra formidable the objective you set, the much less wiggle (i.e., cheat) room you might have.

Now, let’s meet your new favourite ab strikes.

10 Greatest Ab Workouts

Hanging Knee Elevate

Why it is on the record: There are a lot of causes to love leg raises, however high of the record is their scalability. You can begin doing bent-knee raises in a captain’s chair or with ab straps to deal with the decrease core, work as much as straight-leg raises, after which transfer to a dangling bar. By the point you are doing full straight-leg toes-to-bar raises, you have constructed unparalleled power in your whole core.

One other level of their favor: You possibly can improve the diploma of problem and resistance by holding a medication ball between your knees or ankles, permitting you to coach in a decrease rep vary. Or you possibly can add a twist on the high or graduate to full-blown “windshield wipers” to focus on your deeper rotational muscular tissues and obliques.

Irrespective of the variation, simply keep in mind to make use of your abs, not momentum, to get your legs as excessive as doable on every rep.

Hanging Knee Elevate Variations for Ab Growth:  

In your exercise: Do that transfer first or second in your routine for 3 units of 10-15 reps, or nonetheless many reps you are able to do. If utilizing a medication ball, attempt a dropset just by letting go of the drugs ball while you hit failure.

Hanging leg raise forum quote

Machine Crunch

Why it is on the record: Ab workouts with added resistance do not get sufficient love! Further resistance spurs progress within the fast-twitch muscle fibers like virtually nothing else and might actually construct up the “bricks” of your six-pack.

By utilizing a machine, you too can modify the load and practice to failure at nearly any rep goal you need. A pin-loaded machine works particularly nicely when doing dropsets. In case your gymnasium does not have a devoted ab machine, you possibly can nonetheless get the identical advantages utilizing cables or bands.

Machine Crunch Variations for Ab Growth:

In your exercise: This works nice as one of many first workouts in your ab routine. Use a difficult weight for a decrease rep goal. After all, it additionally works with lighter weight as a burnout on the finish. In both case, 3-4 units of 10-15 reps is a strong formulation.

Pallof Press

Why it is on the record: This more and more standard motion trains your abs to do what they’re purported to do: stabilize your skeleton. The Pallof press is an anti-rotation motion, which means the physique is actively combating rotation all through the movement. By using workouts like this, you possibly can improve core stability in varied planes of motion and scale back the probability of damage.

In case you’ve by no means accomplished these earlier than, anticipate to be challenged greater than you would possibly anticipate!

Cable Pallof press gif

Pallof Press Variations for Constructing Power:

In your exercise: There isn’t any have to go heavy right here; all it is going to do is compromise the standard of the transfer. Do these after your most troublesome ab transfer of the day utilizing a weight that means that you can handle 3 units of 10-15 reps on both sides.

Cable Crunch

Why it is on the record: The power of this train is its versatility. It really works for any health degree, on any cable machine, and you’ll add any quantity of resistance you should practice at your goal rep vary. You may also use a resistance band if you do not have a cable stack useful.

Regardless of these benefits, loads of individuals nonetheless do them incorrect! Listed below are the largest factors to recollect, from the article, “4 Cable Crunch Blunders.”

  • Squeeze your glutes and hold your hips ahead. Sitting again targets extra hip flexors.  
  • Spherical your again throughout every rep.  
  • Hold your fingers subsequent to your head to keep away from making it a shoulder and upper-body transfer.  
  • Hold your neck impartial. Do not tuck your chin.

Received it? Now put it into motion.

Cable Crunch Variations for Ab Growth:

In your exercise: That is one other good first or second train that may be accomplished for a low-to-moderate variety of reps. Do 3 units of 10-15 reps. If you wish to add a dropset, change the pin or use a lighter resistance band while you attain muscle failure and instantly carry out one other 8-10 reps.

Decline Crunch

Why it is on the record: This old-school fave amps up the ab engagement by rising the vary of movement over commonplace crunches. You may also dial up—or down—the diploma of problem by adjusting the angle of the bench.

Holding a medication ball, dumbbell, or plate towards your chest provides an extra degree of customizable resistance. If you’d like the ab-chiseling upside of cables or gymnasium machines however haven’t got entry to a gymnasium, that is for you.

Be warned: Since your ft are hooked, it is all too straightforward to make use of your hip flexors to come back up as a substitute of your abs. Hold your decrease again flat to the bench and your abs engaged. In case you’re not feeling a depraved burn, drop all the burden, put your fingers in your stomach, and actually deal with the contraction at a slower tempo.

Decline crunch gif

Decline Crunch Variations for Ab Growth:  

In your exercise: Place this one later in your routine after you have constructed up some fatigue from a extremely difficult first train or two. Do 3 units of 10-15 reps. In case you discover 15 reps too straightforward, merely improve the angle of decline or use a heavier ball or plate.


Why it is on the record: No, we’re not going to echo that outdated delusion that squats and deads are all you want for abs. You want extra! However there isn’t any debating that each back and front squats drive you to discover ways to brace your abs to take care of a impartial, upright place. And earlier than you say, “It does not depend should you put on a lifting belt,” quite a lot of research have proven {that a} belt really will increase ab activation throughout squats.

Oh, and don’t fret about balancing on a BOSU ball to extend the work of your stabilizers. Analysis has proven that should you simply go heavy together with your squats on the ground, you will get all of the ab stimulus you want.

Squat Variations for Ab Growth:

In your exercise: Usually program each front and back squats into your routine. To maintain it fascinating, rotate by way of in four-week waves, or alternate weeks between again and fronts. Additionally, should you’re following a devoted program just like the 7-Day Six-Pack, do your exercises after your heavy leg days, not earlier than. The very last thing you need is to really feel sore or weak while you’re below the bar!

Russian Twist

Why it is on the record: To recruit the obliques, you should do one among three motions: 

  • Bend to the aspect  
  • Rotate your trunk  
  • Suck in your stomach

By including a medication ball to the twist, you are hitting your obliques with a double whammy by requiring the higher abs to contract isometrically to stabilize towards the burden as you progress. Attempt to get slightly crunch on both aspect after the rotation to up the ante.

Dumbbell Russian twist gif

Twist Variations for Ab Growth:  

In your exercise: Do that train towards the center of your routine for 3 units of round 15 reps per aspect. Improve the diploma of problem by extending your arms out or utilizing heavier weight.

Ab Roll-out

Why it is on the record: This low-cost piece of kit has gained a cult following through the years, and for good purpose. EMG knowledge means that utilizing an ab wheel is equally if no more efficient than hanging leg raises, sit-ups, and reverse crunches at activating the abs.

Why is the ab wheel so efficient? It capitalizes on the idea of eccentric strength-building completely. As you roll out, your trunk should actively hearth whereas these abs stretch to take care of a impartial backbone with out collapsing below your physique weight and gravity.

Ab Roll-Out Variations for Ab Growth:

In your exercise: Construct as much as 3 units of 8-12 reps, rolling all the best way out and again in your knees. If you cannot do all of the reps prescribed or in case your again is arching, scale back the gap and preserve a impartial backbone, then slowly work to increase it over just a few weeks.

Ab roll-out forum quote

Train Ball Pike

Why it is on the record: It seems the train ball is sweet for extra than simply sitting and ready in your associate to complete their set! A analysis crew demonstrated that the pike motion is without doubt one of the simplest total-ab activators on the market. It topped the EMG record for higher abs, decrease abs, and obliques. The model within the examine was carried out on a ball, however pikes may also be accomplished on a suspension strap system.

Train Ball Pike Variations for Ab Growth:

In your exercise: Because it targets a big diploma of the muscle mass of the stomach, the pike can both be used to get your routine began or as a extremely brutal solution to end it out. Shoot for 2-3 units of 8-12 reps. If you cannot full reps with good type, begin with train ball knee roll-ins.


Why it is on the record: Muscle activation research take into account the plank a mid-level train. However on this case, that does not inform the entire story. It is in the beginning an amazing transverse abdominis transfer, however that muscle is deep, so cannot be measured by EMG.

Planks primarily made the record due to how simply you need to use completely different variations to alter the extent of problem. If an elbow plank is just too troublesome, carry out it with the arms straight or just drop to your knees. Too straightforward? Elevate an arm or a leg—or an arm and a leg. Put your ft into suspension straps or on a stability ball. Every one among these progressions results in a larger coaching stimulus to the abs.

Plank Variations for Power and Progress:

In your exercise: You are able to do these final on ab day, however you too can do them at residence nearly any time you need. Because it’s an isometric transfer, shoot for time relatively than reps. Doing 3-5 units of 30-90 seconds in no matter variation is hardest for you must get you shaking!

Greatest Ab Exercises

Arduous and Heavy Ab Exercise

In case you’re able to construct your ab muscular tissues so that they’re seen even at a barely increased physique fats degree, that is the exercise. With hanging leg raises and a weighted superset, you will be feeling your core proper out of the gate. Ending with a spherical of kneeling cable crunches, you will go away the gymnasium afraid to cough or giggle. 

Arduous and Heavy Ab Exercise


3 units, 15 reps (relaxation 90 sec. )



Carry out the workouts so as, resting as little as doable between workouts and 1 min. between units.

4 units, 10 reps (no relaxation)

4 units, 12 reps (relaxation 1 min. )


3 units, 15 reps (relaxation 90 sec. )

All-in-One Six-Pack Exercise

Chasing a six-pack? This ab exercise is an ideal solution to begin your day or the proper finish to any exercise. With body weight workouts and circuit-style intervals, you will hit each angle of your abs and work up a sweat in lower than 20 minutes!  

All-in-One Six-Pack Exercise


Ab Rollout

Carry out in your knees and restrict your vary of movement to what you are able to do with out letting your decrease again droop. In case you attain failure, maintain a static place together with your arms beneath your shoulders for the rest of the 30 sec.

3 units, 30 sec (relaxation 1 min. )


3 units, 30 sec (relaxation 1 min. )



Carry out for time on one aspect earlier than switching to the opposite aspect. Relaxation as little as doable between sides and 1 min. between units.

3 units, 30 sec (proper aspect, no relaxation)

3 units, 30 sec (left aspect, relaxation 1 min. )

Machine Ab Exercise

This three-move cable ab exercise is straightforward, however brutal. Every of the workouts are carried out for 3 units of 10-12 reps. So, what is the catch? You may carry out a dropset on the finish of every motion. Take every set to failure and anticipate to don’t have anything left within the tank!


Kneeling cable crunch

After the ultimate set, carry out a single dropset.

3 units, 10-12 reps



Carry out for all reps on one aspect earlier than switching to the opposite aspect. Relaxation as little as doable between sides. 

Cable Cross-Physique Pull

After the ultimate set, carry out a single dropset.

3 units, 10-12 reps (left aspect, no relaxation)

Cable Cross-Physique Pull

After the ultimate set, carry out a single dropset.

3 units, 10-12 reps (proper aspect, relaxation 1 min. )


Cable reverse crunch

After the ultimate set, carry out a single dropset.

3 units, 10-12 reps (relaxation 1 min. )

Greatest Ab-Constructing Packages

What Are the Greatest Ab Packages for Constructing Your Six-Pack?

The very best ab-building packages characteristic ab-focused exercises that’ll go away your core sore, but additionally assist create outcomes you possibly can see within the mirror. Heavy and excessive quantity is the secret! Get your weight loss plan proper and get to work.   

To observe the same blueprint to construct the remainder of your physique, try the companion items on this sequence:

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