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Best Ab Exercises For Effectiveness

Aug 31, 2008
What are the best ab exercises and most effective on your abdominal muscles? If you are trying to get great abs and a flat stomach by doing 100 crunches, then be sure to read on to find out what one study deemed as the best ab exercises.

According to one study conducted by the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, the bicycle maneuver was the top rated abdominal exercise with the traditional ab crunch coming in at the bottom three.

This study used specialized equipment to measure the activity in the abdominal muscles to determine the best ab exercises. There were 30 men and women who participated in this study ranging in age from 20 to 45. Each participant performed 10 to 12 reps of 13 common abdominal exercises. Each exercise was given to the participants randomly and the participants were allowed to practice each exercise.

The study also included some popular abdominal exercise equipment in this study including the ab roller, ab rocker and an exercise ball. Each abdominal exercise was measured for effectiveness in the rectus abdominus muscle and the oblique muscles. The data was gathered and analyzed.

Best Ab Exercises

Topping the list for the most effective in the rectus abdominus was the bicycle maneuver, captain's chair and coming in third was the exercise ball crunch. The best ab exercises for the oblique muscles were the captain's chair, bicycle maneuver and the reverse crunch.

Coming in close behind the top 3 for the rectus abdominus were the vertical leg crunch, torso track and the long arm crunch. The number 4 through 6 spots for effectiveness in the oblique muscles were the hover, vertical leg crunch and the exercise ball crunch.

Worst Ab Exercises

The bottom 3 abdominal exercises for both the rectus abdominus and oblique muscles were the Ab Rocker coming in last then the exercise tubing pull and coming in 11th was the traditional crunch.

This study did state that all the abdominal exercises studied showed some effectiveness in the ab muscles, however some were more effective than others.

Getting Flat Abs

Although there are probably 100 abdominal exercises for you to try, in order to flatten your stomach you must also focus on reducing belly fat. The best exercise to lose belly fat is not an abdominal exercise. Rather it is aerobics. That's right. You must do aerobic or fat burning exercises in order to eliminate and reduce fat. If all you do is abdominal exercises then all you accomplish are rock hard abs hidden under a layer of fat.

Your weekly exercise routines should consist of both aerobics and strength training. By including both in your workout routines you will not only be burning calories and fat but building lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn.

But of course all this exercising doesn't give you free reign to eat what ever you want. You still have to incorporate a healthy eating plan to help reduce fat and build muscle.

To really get flat abs and that treasured six pack abs be sure to eat right, do aerobic exercises and focus on the best ab exercises to get the most out of your abdominal exercise routine.
About the Author
Julie is the author and creator of http://www.exercise4weightloss.com where you can find lots of tips and information on exercise and weight loss.
For more on the best ab exercises be sure to visit http://www.exercise4weightloss.com/best-ab-exercises.html
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