December 11, 2011

Best Abdominal Exercises


In a recent post I mentioned a study listing the 13 best abdominal exercises.  Several of you have asked about it.  This research determined which exercises actually target the abdominal muscles the best.  It did not discuss controversial moves such as forward flexion (see post from Nov. 7, 2010), nor did it mention that the key to washboard abs is low body fat, which can only be obtained with a combination of a healthy diet, aerobic exercise and strength training.
The researchers used EMG data to measure muscle activity.  They measured the rectus abdominus (long muscle that goes down the front of your stomach), internal and external obliques (waist muscles), and the hip flexors (muscles in the front of your thighs).  Below are the rankings for the top 13 in each category:

Rectus abdominus:
2. Captain’s Chair
3. Crunch on Stability Ball
4. Vertical Leg Crunch
5. Torso Track
6. Long Arm Crunch
7. Reverse Crunch
8. Crunch with Heel Push
9. Ab Roller
10. Hover or Plank
11. Traditional Crunch
12. Exercise Tubing Pull
13. Ab Rocker

1. Captain’s Chair
2. Bicycle
3. Reverse Crunch
4. Hover or Plank
5. Vertical Leg Crunch
6. Crunch on Stability Ball
7. Torso Track
8. Crunch with Heel Push
9. Long Arm Crunch
10. Ab Roller
11. Traditional Crunch
12. Exercise Tubing Pull
13. Ab Rocker

Over the next few posts I will describe each exercise, and enumerate the benefits and potential drawbacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment