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  1. #1
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    Default Best Exercises for Abs

    I just found this on the net today searching for different ab exercises. It's a list of the top 10 most effective ab exercises, based on the American Council on Exercise's study to determine the most effective ab exercises.

    I think it's good to know so you can focus on getting the most results for your effort, but also if you find yourself reaching a plateau with whatever you're currently doing, you would do well to try something different. This is quite known amongst bodybuilders or gymnasts or other athletes who focus a lot more on weights, that your body adapts so well to whatever you do, that eventually it adapts to the specific exercises you do, so that they don't give you the same gains that they did when you first started them.

    In order from most to least effective

    1. Bicycle Exercise
    2. Captain's Chair
    3. Exercise Ball Crunch (Also known as the stability ball)
    4. Vertical Leg Crunch
    5. Torso Track
    6. Long Arm Crunch
    7. Reverse Crunch
    8. Full Vertical Crunch
    9. Ab Rocker
    10. Plank on elbows and toes
    Also good for simple variety, to reduce boredom in routines. Hope everyone finds something new to try!

    Cheers,
    Cory

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    cool, thanks for the tips

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    dragonflags are pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blindsided View Post
    dragonflags are pretty good.
    These probably weren't included in the study. They are very hard to do, and I certainly don't speak for everyone, but darn near impossible for most people.

    Furthermore they aren't necessary to achieving any goals for your abs, whether good looks or strength. These can both be achieved with the other exercises. And dragonflags can put many people at good risk for injury.

    They sure look hard, and I would love to be able to do one, even if just to impress a girl!

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    Yeah, I was just trying to give a challenging exercise for bored people, no harm intended.

    I can do dragonflags, but I haven't impressed any girls with them yet haha. I would also like to add that ab exercises using a pull up bar are very good. Don't know what you call them though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blindsided View Post
    Yeah, I was just trying to give a challenging exercise for bored people, no harm intended.

    I can do dragonflags, but I haven't impressed any girls with them yet haha. I would also like to add that ab exercises using a pull up bar are very good. Don't know what you call them though
    No harm was given by it at all, no worries. I'm impressed you can do them though, I'm not even close.

    The pullup bar exercises aren't they alot like the captains chair, except you aren't holding a bar above your head, you're holding the handles on the chair instead? Either way you're having to pull your knees up to your chest, and rotate to get the obliques.

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    I just looked up the Captain's Chair, looks just like what I was talking about with the pullup bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blindsided View Post
    I just looked up the Captain's Chair, looks just like what I was talking about with the pullup bar.
    I was roommates with a top national level gymnast where I live, and he was always doing the bicycle crunches. I also saw lots of the the male gymnasts competing in Beijing doing them. So it seems it's either the best one out there for your abs, or the most convenient for them.
    Last edited by coryprice; 08-21-2008 at 12:29 AM.

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    Most of these exercises would not make my list of exercises for the abdominals or "core" muscles. The abdominal muscles are not optimally suited for spine flexion; if they were they'd be shaped like our hamstrings. Instead, they seem to be better suited for resisting movement: they are strongest in the neutral position and get weaker as your spine is increasingly bent.

    I second Blindsided with the pullup based exercises. You can do knee tucks, L-sits, levers, pullups with weights in your legs/feet, etc. Another set of good exercises are the ab roller exercises. Of course, beginners should start with the basics: plank exercises until they can how for at least 2 mins.

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    so Captain's Chair is esseintially doing pull-ups on a bar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrost View Post
    so Captain's Chair is esseintially doing pull-ups on a bar?
    Just to be clear, it's not the same as a pull-up. Instead of raising your body up by using your arms, you lift your legs up while holding your body in place with your arms.

    Not sure if that's what you meant or not, but hope that clarifies.

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    ya it does thanks. so "Captain's Chair" is a better ab workout than sit-ups? Cause a couple of my friends told me pull-ups was one of the best cause you are working out your whole upper body in an intense way. Is the "Captain's Chair" harder than pull-ups?

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    Captains chair is an ab exercise. Pull ups work arms, shoulders, chest depending on how far you separate your arms. A lot of people consider pull ups to be one of the hardest exercises.

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    ok but when i do pull-ups my abs get streched alot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrost View Post
    ya it does thanks. so "Captain's Chair" is a better ab workout than sit-ups? Cause a couple of my friends told me pull-ups was one of the best cause you are working out your whole upper body in an intense way. Is the "Captain's Chair" harder than pull-ups?
    Hi blackfrost,

    I think I might need to clarify further. The Captain's Chair and pull-ups don't use the same muscles in the same way. Pull-ups work almost entirely with your biceps, whereas capts chair works your abs, and very little biceps.

    So I guess you might say they are both equally as hard to do, but not for the same muscle group. I guess some also might argue that they are not equally as hard.

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