Different ab exercises are essential for anyone who wants a flat stomach of rock hard six pack muscles because as well as following a ripped abs diet, and including fat burning and muscle building exercises, awesome abdominal definition also requires a variety of different ab exercises instead of doing set after set of the crunch, sit up, leg raise and reverse crunch.
The reason is because as your abdominal muscles adapt to the standard six pack exercises and the only way that you can then increase the intensity and therefore size and strength of your ab muscles is by either trying to make the exercises more demanding or incorporating a variety of new core exercises to spearhead new growth.
All muscle growth including the size and strength of the stomach muscles need to follow the four muscle building principals of overload (making a muscle work harder than it has previously done) progression (consistently increasing this workload over time) specificity (using the right training for a specific goal, in this case including ab exercises to specifically target the six pack muscles) and adaptation (in this case allowing the required time, rest and recovery for your stomach muscles to grow bigger and stronger).
For stomach muscle development the standard abdominal exercises such as the crunch, reverse crunch and leg raise make it very difficult to follow the four principles because these exercises are simply to easy.
For example, once you can do the required number of sets and repetitions of the standard crunch it becomes a real challenge to make the exercise harder and therefore make continued progress.
Also despite what many people believe, the rectus abdominis and outer oblique (six pack muscles) adapt to stimuli in a similar fashion to all the other muscles of the body and so just like any other muscle, they need to be exercised with 3 - 4 sets of 6 - 10 repetitions to encourage new increases in size and strength.
Therefore I am sure you can see why different ab exercises would soon be needed if you are to encourage the growth a flat stomach of awesome, six pack, abdominal muscles requires.
However, please remember that although a variety of different ab exercises are needed for a six pack, these exercises will only build the size and strength of your abdominal muscles, they will not remove the belly fat that hides them.
To remove the belly fat and get a flat stomach you also need to implement a six pack diet to ensure a calorie deficit (ideally a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day less than you need to stay at your present weight which results in a body fat loss of 1 pound of fat per week).
You also have to include fat burning circuit training which will burn calories while you train and increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR). As well as incorporating bodyweight or weight training exercises which will maintain your muscle mass.
It is also important to remember that you should also do exercises for the inner ab muscles the transversus abdominus and the internal obliques.
Although these muscles are often ignored by most people doing core exercises (probably because of a lack of knowledge) I strongly recommend that you do not make the same mistake.
The reason is because it is these muscles that are responsible for keeping the stomach pulled in and prevent it from looking like a saggy pot belly.
Although this is a problem that many people suffer from and try to solve by doing traditional six pack exercises, it is not exercises for the rectus abdominis and outer obliques that will solve this problem but flat stomach exercises for the transversus addominus and the internal obliques.
One quick exercise to train the transversus abdominus can be done by lying down, placing one hand on your lower abs just below your naval and then pulling your stomach muscles in as if you were trying to pull them down towards your naval.
When done correctly you should be able to feel the hand placed on your lower abs move towards your naval as you pull the stomach muscles in.
Once you have mastered this simple technique try to build up to holding the muscles in for up to a minute at a time making sure you breathe normally throughout the exercise.
Although it will be impossible for you to do the full versions of these two ab exercises straight away unless you are super human. You can begin to incorporate them into your training by following the far easier versions of these two exercises and then progress stage by stage.
Other unusual exercises are wood chops which as the name suggests involves a similar motion to that used when chopping a tree down with an axe.
Although people normally do this exercise using the cable from a lat machine a far more effective version is to find yourself an old car tyre and hang it outside from a post or tree. You then get yourself a baseball bat or pick axe handle and beat the hell out of the tyre alternating from from one side to another.
If you can build up to doing this exercise for 3 minutes at a time you will be getting the best of both worlds. Not only will it super charge your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and therefore burn up more fat but you will also develop phenomenal size and strength in your core, particularly in the oblique (side of waist) muscles.
Another unusual but very effective exercise for ripped abs is the complete sit up. This might appear to be an easy exercise on the surface but it is in fact a very demanding rectus abdominis exercise that works incredibly well for the upper and middle ab muscles.
You can also include compound weight training exercises such as heavy dead lifts, military press and the clean and jerk to build size in the upper, middle and lower abs and other neglected core exercises are the spider man press up, mountain climbers, the superman exercise, the starfish exercise and the full hanging leg raise for the lower abs.
However, perhaps the best advice I can give you is to recommend that you not be afraid of devising fun and imaginative different ab exercises of your own.
For example, as a former boxer I often practise throwing body hooks continually on the heavy bag for 3 minutes at a time. You will not find this exercise recommend on many core exercise articles but I can tell you from experience that for building size and strength in the upper, middle and lower abs as well as the outer obliques this exercise is unsurpassed.
Good Luck trying your own different ab exercises.
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