Top Ten Ab Exercises

Top Ten Ab Exercises

By Clark Bartram from

For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that your nutrition is on target, that you are training aerobically to stay lean, and that you really want to enhance your training so you can develop world-class abs.

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I recommend training your abs every other day, after a weight workout. All you have to do is choose two or three different exercises and perform four to five sets of 10-12 reps for each one.

Top Ten Ab Exercises Video

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What follows are my top 10 favorite abdominal exercises of all time. Some of them will look absolutely crazy. Others will look kind of familiar, but with a special twist or two to make them more effective. The whole point is to hit your abs from a lot of different angles so you can really get them to pop.

Top Ten Ab Exercises

If you’re ready to take your abdominal training to the next level, here we go:

#1 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Tornado Ball — Wall Chops & Seated Chops

Grasp a Tornado Ball with a slight “choke up” on the rope. To do the wall chops, lean back against a sturdy wall and bend your knees into a slight squat. Then rotate from side to side, slamming the Tornado Ball against the wall. Do this ballistically for about 30 seconds. Seated chops are performed with the same intensity. Simply sit down on the floor and move the ball overhead. Start with one 30-second set for each exercise.

Tornado Ball ab workout video

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#2 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Surrender Sit-Ups
These are called surrender sit-ups due to the hand position. Your arms will be above your head as if you were surrendering to someone. In the upright position, place your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lower yourself back like a traditional sit-up, but only go as far as you can without lifting your feet off the floor. When your feet begin to rise, come back up to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes throughout the entire movement.

Surrender Situp video

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#3 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Power Wheel Crunches
Unlike a traditional “ab wheel,” a Power Wheel is attached to your feet and you move your legs instead of your arms. You can either bend your knees and tuck them into your chest, or do a “pike” with straight legs. Either way, be sure to exhale on each contraction.

Power Wheel ab workout video

#4 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Exercise Ball Weighted Crunches
Choose a weight that allows you to perform 3 sets of 8?10 repetitions. Position yourself on the ball just to the front of the top (to ensure a full range of motion) and slowly allow your spine to wrap back around the ball. Be sure to anchor your feet with a weight at least twice as heavy as the weight you use to perform the exercise.

Exercise Ball Weighted Crunches Video

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#5 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Swiss Ball Reverse Crunches
Position your body so your scapula is centered on the top of the ball. Grab a stationary handle above your head and tuck your knees up and around towards your face. Reps are not the only indicator of a good abdominal workout… you should feel each one in the muscle, without obsessing over how many you do.

#6 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Hanging Leg Raises
If you do the entire movement from completely stretched out to completely contracted, then your psoas muscles (hip flexors) assist in the movement. If you start the movement with your legs bent at 90 degrees, you eliminate the use of the hip flexor group.

#7 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Janda Sit-Ups
These are tremendous once you get the hang of them. Assume the traditional sit-up position, with your arms crossed over your chest. Have someone grab the back of your calves and pull slightly.

Slowly sit up, maintaining a contraction in the glutes. If you can’t pull yourself up right away, start with the negative part of the movement.

#8 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Full Contact Twists
These are similar to Tornado Ball chops, but they can be done in a gym without any special equipment. Get a 45 lb. Olympic bar and place one end in a corner to hold it in place. With your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms fully extended, hold the opposite end of the bar and rotate it overhead in a semi-circular motion.

Be sure to rotate at the waist and feel the movement throughout your entire core. Do 1 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.

#9 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Medicine Ball Throws On Swiss Ball
Assume the same position on the Swiss Ball as you would if you were doing weighted crunches, and position your feet under two dumbbells for safety. While seated on the Swiss Ball in an upright position, have your partner throw the medicine ball over your head so you can catch it (under control) while lying back over the Swiss Ball. Sit up and throw the medicine ball back to your partner. Do 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps.

#10 of Top Ten Ab Exercises
Cable Side Crunches
Using a cable in the highest position, grasp the handle with one hand and rest the other on top the hand grabbing the handle. Your hand should be at your temple. Keeping your arm completely stationary, crunch between the waist and lower chest only. Be sure to do both sides for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

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Top Ten Ab Exercises

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