January is so close and that means most of you will be starting a number of fitness resolutions for the New Year. No matter if you want to burn more fat, build more muscle, or boost your endurance, everyone wants to have a lean and sexy set of abs. If you’re like most, you may assume that crunches are the only way to a six pack. Let’s review 4 of the best exercises to help you chisel your midsection and not one of them is a crunch.
Hanging Knee or Leg Raise
This is an excellent way to target your lower abdominal muscles. It’ll also help you learn to establish better control over your hip flexors.
Stand beneath a pull-up bar.
Reach overhead, taking a shoulder-width or outside of shoulder-width grip.
Allow yourself to dangle from the pull-up bar.
Tighten your core and focus on the contraction in your abdominals.
Contract your abs, bringing your knees/legs forward and up.
Bring them as high as you can then pause.
Slowly lower your legs to the starting position.
Swiss Ball Roll Out
While this ab move may sound easy, it’s anything but. Your entire core is going to feel this movement and you’ll be amazed at the results it can produce.
Kneel on a padded surface with a Swiss Ball in front of you.
Place your forearms on the Swiss Ball.
Tighten your core and keep your lower back straight.
Slowly, allow the Swiss Ball to roll forward and allow yourself to roll with it.
Extend your upper body to its fullest extent then pause.
Feel the contraction in the core then slowly roll back up to the starting position.
It’s important to not allow yourself to arch your lower back.
This may not seem like much but trust us, you’ll feel these in a big way. Vacuums target your deep abdominal muscles and are a favorite among famous sets of abs including the Governator’s.
Sit down on a chair or bench.
Straighten your back while your chest up.
Take in a deep breath for 3 to 5 seconds.
Forcefully exhale and continue doing so for as long as you can.
Make sure to contract your core, drawing the navel in towards your spine.
Relax and catch your breath before doing another set.
One of the best exercises that you can perform for your upper and lower abdominals is the plank. This one is tough so don’t get discouraged if you can’t hold this position for very long.
Lie face down on the ground.
Bring your legs together and your arms to your sides.
Tighten your core and push your body up while you balance yourself on your feet and forearms.
Do not allow your hips to drop and touch the ground.
Focus on the contraction in your abdominals.
Once finished, slowly lower yourself down.
Tell Us What You Think!
What exercises do you use to sculpt your core? Let us know in the comments below!