If you wanted to know which are the best five, 6 pack abs exercises a visit to most gyms would lead you to believe that the usual favourites such as crunches, reverse crunches, sit ups and leg raises must be the most effective as these are the ones you see just about everybody doing.
However, the reality is that not all abs exercises are equal. The reason is because if you want to build strong and well shaped abdominal muscles you have to exercise them just like any other muscle group and do exercises for 6 to 10 repetitions per set, or for 10 to 30 second if you are doing isometric static holds.
As you can imagine, the problem with the fore mentioned crunch, reverse crunch, sit up and leg raise is that for most people they are far to easy and this is why you see people doing sets of 50 or 100 crunches.
Therefore, the best five 6 pack abs exercises will be the ones that are so demanding that you can only do the required 6 to 10 reps whatever your level of strength and fitness and the five 6 pack abs exercises that fit that description are the Dragon Flag, Complete Ab Roller, Full Hanging Leg Raise, Star Fish Side Plank and Superman Plank.
What makes these 5 exercises so effective is that although they are extremely intense and can only be done by athletes who are really fit and strong they all have easier versions which allow you to progress stage by stage and all the while still keep to the 6 to 10 reps or 10 to 30 second holds needed for great six pack abs.
The Dragon Flag
Made famous by Bruce Lee, the Dragon Flag is a truly awesome abdominal exercise that requires both immense core strength and excellent co-ordination.There are very few people who can do 10 repetitions but you can start building up your strength for this exercise by doing the easier version that has you bend your legs at the knees reducing the amount of leverage and making it easier as a result.
The full hanging leg raise,
The full hanging leg raise involves hanging from the pull up bar and then lifting your legs all the way up to touch the bar.
This is the very best exercise for the lower abs and requires both core strength and good hamstring flexibility to execute. It is very unlikely that you will be able to do the full hanging leg raise when starting out but the exercise has a number of stages to build up with.
The first stage is to do the hanging tuck which involves simply holding on to the pull up bar and bringing your knees up to your waist. This is the exercise that you see many people in the gym do but the big mistake that most people make is that they don't progress from this exercise to the other three stages.
The complete ab roller.
This is one of the most deceiving of all ab exercises because it looks so simple to do. However, after you have had several attempts and collapsed half way through the exercise on each occasion you will soon see just how hard this exercise is.
To do the complete ab roller you need very strong lower back muscles as well as abdominal strength so this is one to avoid if you have any lower back problems.
Again the exercise has a number of stages to progress through starting with the simple ab roller done on your knees.
However, once you begin to practise the exercise with your knees of the floor it turns into a whole new ball game and builds rock hard middle and upper abdominal muscles.
The Star Fish side plank
Again this is a static hold exercise and requires you to hold the final position for up to 30 seconds. This exercise needs good balance and really strong outer obliques (side muscles) to execute and in my opinion is the best outer oblique exercise you can do. The easier exercises that you do to build up to the star fish side plank are very simple to do and you can make very quick progress with this exercise.
The Superman plank
Like the name suggests this static hold exercise has a look of superman about it and it also builds ab strength that the hero would be proud of. It requires a fair level of upper body and core strength as well as balance to execute. Like all of the other exercises this one has a far easier version to start with, in this case the standard plank, before progressing stage by stage to a truly excellent hardcore ab exercise.
If you are finding your stomach exercises ineffective why not give the five best 6 pack abs exercises a go, not only will you be able to keep the repetitions in the 6 - 10 range that effective abdominal training should be done but also you will be able to progress until you can one day do the perfect five best 6 pack abs exercises. Once you can do that you will have as strong a core as it is possible to have.
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