What Are The Best Ab Exercises?

Today, more than ever, people seem to be on a quest for great abs. Both men and women, and people of all ages want those elusive six-pack abs. Not only do great abs make you look fabulous, they also can provide many health benefits.

There have been numerous studies that have shown individuals with a proper waist size, and those with tight midsections have lower total weights, better body mass indexes, and lower risks for developing certain types of diseases. With all the ab workout programs, ab training books and DVDs, and ab workout equipment, choosing the best form of ab exercise can be a very confusing task. Truth be told, you really do not have to purchase expensive equipment or join a gym to get results. You can tighten and tone those abs right in the comfort of your own home.

By now I am sure you have all heard of, and probably done a few, crunches. A simple activity, yes, however, this simple, and long touted form of exercise really does help to shape ab muscles. To gain even better results, you can modify this classic in several ways.

Performing crunches on top of a stability ball keeps the ab muscles contracted throughout the entire workout, which can really do wonders for tightening. Conducting crunches on top of a stability ball, but adding in left to right movement targets the obliques. The obliques are the sides of your abdomen and add definition to your stomach and waist.

Even more modifications can be made to the classic crunch with the addition of a medicine ball. Perform crunches on the floor as you normally would, but hold onto the medicine ball and twist left to right to work all ab muscles and obliques. Finally, you can modify your crunches by executing them on a decline bench. Lay on the bench with your head on the lowest end and your feet hooked in above you. This allows your muscles to be tight throughout the process and will really give you a great workout.

To begin your workout program, keep a few basic guidelines in mind: begin slowly, work at your skill level, and gradually increase your intensity. When first starting out, begin with about fifteen reps of crunches on the floor, four to five times per week. If you choose to add the stability ball to your routine, try to complete about twelve reps, four to five times per week.

Once you can easily accomplish this goal, you can then add the medicine ball to work on your obliques. You should work toward completing about ten reps for each side. All reps (on the floor, or with the use of stability or medicine balls) should be increased to two sets of ten to fifteen as you progress. The use of a decline bench is recommended for more advanced workouts.

Once you are able to perform two sets of more traditional crunches, you can work into using the bench to complete up to three sets of fifteen. It is important to remember to work your way up to these recommendations and not to push yourself too hard too soon. Injuries can occur if you do not use a bit of common sense and caution with your workout. Also, these are just a few of the many exercises that exercises that can give you phenomenal abs!

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