Ab Exercise Battle!

nerdCall me a NERD, but every week I scour hundreds of scientific journal articles looking for the latest ab exercise study that will help YOU get more results.

Earlier this week I found another study showing cardio doesn’t work, but more importantly (for your abs), I found this…

British researchers recently studied these four ab exercises

1) Curl-up
2) Swiss Ball Curl-up http://www.turbulencetrainingforabs.com/trial-offer.shtml
3) Swiss Ball Jackknife
4) Swiss Ball Rollout

(Note: The latter are two of my favorite TT for Abs exercises!)

Seven men and seven women performed each of those exercises to see how each affected the upper abs and lower abs.

NOTE: We will ignore for a minute the debate about whether “upper and lower abs” exist. But if you want a full scientific description, I highly recommend reading Dr. Stuart McGill’s book, Ultimate Low Back Fitness and Performance.

Here’s the reference, and under that you’ll find the results.

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 13(4):364-7, 2009. Muscle activity of the upper and lower rectus abdominis during exercises performed on and off a Swiss ball. Duncan M.


Not surprisingly, the Curl-up, Swiss Ball Curl-up, and Rollout all worked the upper abs harder than the lower abs.

However, for the Jackknife, the lower abs worked harder than the upper abs.

So if you aren’t using this exercise, then you aren’t getting a complete abdominal exercise workout.

In addition, the curl-up (which is NOT used in TT workouts) was the least effective of all the exercises studied.

You need to be using the Swiss Ball Rollout and Jackknife to get maximum abdominal training results.

These are just two of the total body abdominal exercises used in the Turbulence Training for Abs workout. bodyweightabsebk2_4

Click here to get started with the Turbulence Training for Abs.

Just say NO to curl-ups,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training for Abs

PS – Like all of my programs…

…Turbulence Training for Abs is based on science AND experience.

I’ve been using the Rollout and Jackknife for over 9 years in my training programs with phenomenal results for my clients.

I promise these exercises will help you achieve the flat stomach and lean abs you deserve.


  • Jacknifes and Roll Outs are definitely some of the best ab exercises around – feeling the burn for sure on these ones!

  • Hey Craig,

    These exercises are indeed awesome. I just added a new one to my boot camp regime and I can’t believe how hard people had to work to do this one, they literally started sweating profusely while doing it. Talk about total body abs……

    It is the side plank with rotation. Take the hand on arm up in the air and bring it down and through the area between the ground and your chest closest to the ground. There is some great core rotation too so between that, the core stabilization and the work your back does to stabilize you through the rotation, this exercise is a secret killer.

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!