These are the very best advanced ab exercises that you can do and once you have mastered them you will have as strong a core as it is possible to have.
However, because these exercises are so demanding it is essential that you have first spent time building your six pack with the both the easy and then intermediate exercises and that you also master the progressions of all these advanced ab exercises before you try to do the complete versions.
You will also find that you make better progress with your advanced ab exercises program if you also include aerobic exercises to burn belly fat and either weight training or bodyweight exercises to maintain your muscle mass and therefore use even more calories per day.
The standing ab rollout
Although this exercise looks deceivingly easy to most people about to try it for the first time looks can be deceiving and the person trying it usually end up collapsing half way through the rep because of the immense core strength needed to master this great exercise.
As 99 people out of 100 can not do the standing ab rollout without slowly building up the core strength needed the way to mastering it is to first master the kneeling version that was included in the basic ab exercises section and then use a system of progression which gradually increases the range of movement of the standing rollout over several weeks or months until you have the strength needed to master it.
Once you are comfortable with the kneeling version and are ready to practise this rollout there are two options for you. Option one, you can stand a distance from a wall that you think you can safely rollout to lets say for example one metre or so.
Then with your legs straight and your stomach muscles pulled in towards your naval push the roller forward keeping your legs and arms locked and stop an inch or so away from the wall. Pause and then breathe in as you pull the roller back to the starting position.
The idea is to then increase the distance you stand from the wall over time until you build up enough strength and coordination to do the complete rollout
Option two; if you have access to a hill by your house or can make a wooden incline that can be adjusted you can do a full rollout because a steep incline makes this exercise considerably easier and the idea is to then decrease the incline over time until you can do the rollout on level ground.
Of the two options rolling out on an incline is the preferred method because it allows you to get a feel of the rollout using a full range of movement straight away. However, many people do not have access to such an incline and so still master the exercise using the wall method.
Muscles worked – middle and lower abs
Comments – one of the 3 best advanced ab exercises that exist and although it takes time to build up to it anyone who can manage 10 full reps of this exercise will have incredibly strong core muscles.
Caution, this exercise does put a huge strain on the lower back so anyone who has problems in that area should avoid it.
Rating 10 out of 10
The complete hanging leg raise
Before you begin to practise this exercise you should have mastered both the hanging leg tuck included in the basic exercises and the 90 degree leg raises mentioned in the intermediate section.
The technique of the complete hanging leg raise is to continue past the position of the 90 degree version until your feet are touching the bar you are holding on to. However for most people this is far more difficult than it sound so it is a good idea to first practice the leg tuck to chest.
Hang from a bar with your legs straight and then as with the earlier version of the leg tuck mentioned in the basic exercises section bend at the knees and as you breathe out curl them up but this time all the way to the chest.
Pause at the top and then breathe in as you return to the starting position. I recommend that you build up to 10 reps of this exercise before you progress to the complete hanging leg raise.
One you are ready to practise the complete version the technique is exactly the same as the 90 degree hanging leg raise and it is just a case of increasing the height you can lift your straight legs up until you can eventually touch the bar with your feet.
As well as needing impressive core strength the complete exercise also requires reasonable hamstring and lower back flexibility so it is a good idea to start practising some stretches for these muscles to finish of each workout.
Muscles worked – Lower stomach muscles
Comments – One of the best advanced ab exercises that you can do and the very best for the lower abs. However, this is an extremely demanding exercise that can take several months to master and it is essential to build up to it using the progression system described.
Rating 10 out of 10
The Dragon flag (King of all advanced ab exercises)
This advanced ab exercise that was first made famous by Bruce Lee and then later in the Rocky films. Unlike the complete rollout and complete hanging leg raise which look easy until you try to do them the Dragon flag is the one single exercise that leaves people in awe when they see it performed for the first time so if you like showing off this is the exercise to do so with.
As with the other advanced ab exercises this has a progression system and it is essential that you follow these steps before trying the complete Dragon flag.
The dragon flag with bent knees
Once you have built up a good level of core strength with the intermediate exercises the first step is to practice the dragon flag with bent knees. Lie on a bench and grab hold of the edge with both hands.
Next bring your feet as close as possible to your buttocks. From there breathe out as you tense all the muscles in your body and in one coordinated movement pull up with your hands whilst keeping your body rigid until it rises up and your torso points directly at the ceiling.
Pause and then breathe in as you slowly lower back down to the starting position stopping just before your buttocks touch the bench so that the tension remains in the stomach muscles. Build up to sets of 10 before moving on to the next progression.
The Dragon flag with one leg straight
This is done exactly like the previous exercise except you now have one leg straight which because of the change in leverage means that this version is harder than the previous one but still easier that the complete dragon flag. Again build up to sets of 10 before moving on to the next progression.
Negative rep dragon flags.
These are the final stage before doing the complete dragon flag. To do them curl your body up to the dragon flag position pause for a moment making sure that all the muscles are tense and that your body is rigid with your spine straight.
From there breathe out as you lower back down performing what would be the negative part of a complete dragon flag. It is essential that you lower your body down slowly and udder complete control or your will not build up your core strength and risk injuring yourself.
Therefore if you cannot control this exercise stay with the previous version longer and until you have sufficient core strength. Again build up to sets of 10 reps
The complete Dragon flag
Once you have mastered the previous progression you are ready to try the complete dragon flag. Start of slowly and build up the reps over time until you can nail sets of 10 reps.
Muscles worked – upper, middle and lower abs.
Comments – Probably the best single advanced ab exercise that you can do and requires incredible strength but does put a lot of pressure on the lower back so do not do this exercise if you suffer from problems in that area.
Rating 10 out of 10
This is very similar to the standard and intermediate plank except one arm and one leg are lifted of the floor which makes it both an advanced and very effective core exercise.
Begin in a press up position and pull your ab muscles in towards your naval. From there lift your right arm and left leg up at the same time and hold this position for as long as possible. It is important to ensure that you keep both the raised arm and leg and the rest of your body straight and in alignment and that you breathe throughout the exercise.
Muscles worked – All core muscles
Comments – This is not as tough as some of the exercises such as the dragon flag but nonetheless it is the still one of the best advanced ab exercises I recommend that you include it in your training program.
Rating 10 out of 10
The side plank star
This is very similar to the straight arm side plank except for one difference which is that you lift both your leg and arm up at the time.
Begin in a straight arm side plank position and from support your weight on one leg and arm while you raise the opposite ones into the air and hold the position for as long as possible. It is important to breathe throughout the exercise and also ensure that your body is straight and in alignment without sagging in the middle.
Comments – it does take some practice to keep your balance in this position. However, once you have mastered this, it is one the best advanced ab exercises for the oblique’s (Side stomach muscles) and I highly recommend it.
Rating 10 out 10
The V sit (tuck)
The v sit tuck is the exercise that you use to build up to the L seat and v sit. However, the strong contraction of the stomach muscles needed to execute this movement also makes this an excellent ab exercise in its own right and it is therefore a must in any advanced ab workout.
Begin by sitting on the floor with your hands tight against your hips (for this exercise I recommend that you use press up stands). From there you need to push up with your arms, bring your knees to as far towards you as possible and lift up until only your hands are supporting your weight. Hold this position for as long as possible ensuring that you breathe throughout the exercise.
Muscles worked – lower and middle abs.
Comments – This is a demanding exercise that builds a great deal of core strength. Also because the arms are supporting your whole bodyweight for the duration of the movement this is also one of the best triceps exercises that you can do as well.
Rating – 9 out of 10
The L seat
This requires exactly the same technique as the V sit tuck except that for this exercise you keep your legs straight throughout the movement which makes this somewhat more demanding.
Begin by sitting on the floor with your hands tight against your hips and your legs straight. (Again I recommend that you use press up stands). From there simply lift up keeping your legs straight. Hold this position for as long as possible ensuring that you breathe throughout the exercise.
Muscles worked – lower and middle abs.
Comments – the extra leverage provided by keeping your legs straight makes this a more difficult exercise than the V sit tuck so you obviously have to master the tuck before you can move onto this. However, once you can hold the L seat for 30 seconds it will truly blast your core and is one of the best advanced ab exercises for the lower abs.
Rating 9 out of 10
The V sit (Prince of all advanced ab exercises)
This is without a doubt a truly magnificent exercise and the only down side it has is that it takes many months to master. However, if you take into consideration that the training done for this exercise is the V sit tuck which in itself is one of the best advanced ab exercises for the lower abs then it is well worth practising the V sit tuck until you can master this one. Once you can you execute the V sit you will be doing one of the best advanced ab exercises and it is unsurpassed for steel like abs and triceps. (A quick look at the triceps of gymnasts who regularly perform this exercise will confirm this.)
As mentioned earlier, before you can concentrate on the V sit you first have to be able to hold the V sit tuck and L seat for at least 30 seconds. Once you can do so you have to options, you can perform the V sit by first getting into the L seat position and then try to lift your legs up towards the ceiling and as close to your torso as possible while at the same time pushing up hard with your arms and tilting your head and shoulders back. At first you will not be able to lift up into a perfect V sit position and will need to build up the ab and triceps strength as well as improve the flexibility of your hamstrings and the coordination needed for the exercise. However, over some months of training you will make gradually progress until you nail it.
The second option is to get into the V sit tuck position and hold it while you again extend your legs and rotate your head and shoulders back. At first this will be almost impossible to do and your hamstrings will cramp up preventing you from extending the legs. However, after some months of training you will have the strength, flexibility and control to execute the exercise perfectly.
Muscles worked – lower, middle and upper abs
Comments - whichever way you decide to train for the V sit please remember that this is an extreme exercise and it takes both dedication and patience to master. However, once you can you will have stomach muscles that are as strong as it gets as well as awesome triceps development.
Rating 10 out 0f 10
These advanced ab exercises are far to demanding for most people unless you have followed the easy and intermediate ab exercise programs.
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