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6 Of The Best Ab Exercises for BodyBuilding

Yes the dreaded abs, we’re finally down to that part of the body that consumes the largest portion of your workout hours, but sadly, the least results to show. That troublesome muscle group that only a few ever seem lucky enough to flaunt at the pool, beach, gym or simply anywhere there’s an excuse to strip. This stubborn area of the body gives even the most ardent fitness fanatics nightmares. Many people just seem frustrated with the state of their abs because that layer of fat never seems to budge despite hours of abs workouts and specialized abs routines; and only few people know why.

Abs aren’t too difficult if the right abs workouts are incorporated into your fitness routine. Here are the five best workouts you’re not incorporating in your workout routine for maximum results.

Lower-Ab Leg Lift

Work deep down into those lower abs with this Pilates-esque move. With your back flat on the floor, lift your legs straight into the air, squeezing the inner thighs together. Supporting your head gently with your hands (no pulling!), lift your neck. Contract the core to keep your lower back firmly on the ground, then slowly lower your legs until your feet are six to 12 inches from the floor (if your lower back starts to arch up off the floor, you’ll know you’ve lowered those legs too far). Keep your legs straight and pressed together as you slowly lift them back up to starting position. Try for 10.

Bicycle Crunches Abs Workout

Probably the king of Abs workouts and one of the most effective abs exercises! If there was any one abs workout routine that’s perfectly designed to work your abdominal muscle groups, it would be the bicycle crunch.

   - Lie on your back flat with your shoulders against the ground and your feet flat on the ground with knees folded.
    - Clasp both hands behind your head, both elbows pointing forward towards your feet, and raise your right elbow to touch your left knee, your right leg should be fully extended and above the ground.
   - Repeat the same procedure on the alternate side to complete one rep of the exercise routine.
   - To make this abs exercise effective, hold your pose for at least two seconds at the point where each elbow meets the alternate knee for a more intense abdominal burn.

Stir The Pot

Forget side crunches. Get at those obliques with the deceptively challenging Stir The Pot. Start on your knees with your feet on the floor and your forearms resting on the stability ball. Brace your core and roll the ball to the right and away from you. Contract the abs to pull the ball back around to complete a full circle, like you just stirred a pot of your favorite seasonal stew. Complete five circles in each direction, keeping the spine straight. The larger your circle, the harder it will be. If you need an extra challenge, move up from your knees to your toes. 

Swiss Ball Roll-out Abs Workout

 This exercise is designed to mimic the workings of an ab wheel roller but improves on it because the lower back is less prone to injury. The principle that makes this workout effective is quite simple.

  -  While kneeling down on a mat, place your hands on a stability ball, and slowly rest your weight on it. Slowly roll the body away from your body and roll it back toward the body to complete one rep.

Single-Leg Bridge

You’ve probably performed your fair share of bridges, hoping to target your hamstrings and glutes, and you’re certainly not wrong for doing so. But balancing on one leg requires the core muscles to kick in to keep your whole body stable while you lift and lower. Lying on your back with your arms by your sides, plant your right heel on the floor and extend the left leg straight toward the ceiling. Pressing through that right heel, lift the hips until your spine is straight. Then gently lower the hips back to starting position. Try for 12 on each leg.

Cable Rotation

This sharp, sports specific, movement is perfect for ripping up the oblique areas of your abs. To do this exercise,

  -  Stand with feet slightly apart, one in front of the other and a cable in both hands at shoulder height.
  -  The cable should be at right angles to the body from either the right or left side.
  -  Slowly rotate the body while dragging the cable away from its anchor to complete a rep.

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