As a result, I have a few *new* ab exercise photos and descriptions to share with you today for your ab workouts.
1) Kneeling Ball Plank
The regular Stability Ball Plank (aka “Plank on Stability Ball”) is a tough exercise for your abs. In fact, one study quoted by Men’s Health magazine said the Ball Plank is 30% harder on your rectus abdominis than a regular plank.
But for some folks, it is so hard they can’t do the Ball Plank. Fortunately, we can modify it and allow them to do a kneeling version.
Here’s the exercise description and photo:
• Kneel on a mat and place your arms on the ball. Extend your body in a straight line.
• With your back flat, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the plank position for the designated time.
2) Stability Ball Mini-Rollout
Here’s another great ab exercise that we modified for people who find the original version to be too hard.
• Kneel on a mat and place your clasped hands on the top of a medium sized ball.
• Brace your abs and slowly lean forward and roll your hands over the ball while the ball moves away from your body.
• Keep your body in a straight line and rollout 6-12 inches.
• Keep your abs braced as they get a stretch on the way out.
• Then contract your abs and reverse the motion to return to the upright position.
3) Kneeling Renegade Row
The regular renegade row can be murder on your obliques in the lower ab area. But again, this exercise is often too advanced for most folks, so we cut back to a kneeling version.
NOTE: It is a little awkward, but if you play around with your body position, you should be able to do it and get the benefits. It is a lot harder than it looks.
• Start in the kneeling pushup position.
• Wrap your hands around two light dumbbells – NOTE: They must be flat edged dumbbells – not round. You can also use kettlebells.
• Keep your abs braced and row one dumbbell up to your ribcage.
• Slowly lower under control and alternate sides.
• This is a very tough exercise on your lower abs and obliques.
• Keep your abs braced strong at all times.
4) Chin-up with Knee-up
And now for an advanced, unique ab exercise. The extra eccentric stress in this exercise can put a hurting on your abs – even your “lower ab” area – the next day.
• Take underhand grip on the bar with the palms facing you.
• Pull your body up until the chest reaches bar level.
• At the same time, pull your knees up to your chest.
• Slowly lower yourself but do not let your body swing and do not use momentum.
• Let your knees drop slowly from your chest to their original position.
5) Barbell Rollout
And lastly, a tougher version of the Stability Ball Rollout
• Add 25 or 45 pound plates to a barbell. Kneel on a mat and place your hands on the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. .
• Brace your abs and slowly lean forward and roll out while the bar moves away from your body. Keep your body tight and go slow.
• Keep your body in a straight line and go as far as you can with perfect form.
• Contract your abs and reverse the motion to return to the upright position.
So hope you get some benefit out of those…if you can do those easily, make sure you are putting the advanced versions of these abdominal exercises into your fat burning workout.
And by the way, most people are surprised by this, but I believe that almost every exercise is an ab exercise. You can even modify arm exercises to work your abs hard.
Some of my favorite traditional lifting exercises for abs are:
A) High repetition dumbbell rows (murder on your obliques)
C) 1-arm staggered stance heavy dumbbell curls
So brace your abs, contract them tight, and work them on every rep you can…and just say NO to crunches.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training for Abs