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What are the best Abdominal exercises?

The first things I tell people when they ask me about ab work are: that your abs are used in every exercise and movement that you do, you can work your abs every day (unlike other muscle groups that need recovery time), there are four ab muscle groups – you need to work all of them with different exercises, you cannot get a lean mid-section by crunches alone. This makes it sound like in Nia class there is a free extra ab work out. 

Finally (because everybody wants to know how) every body has a six-pack inside them. Unless you are one of the 15% of people who are genetically encoded to show them, you will not get the six-pack abs that you see in magazines. 

You see, your body loses weight (or fat) everywhere at the same time. Even if you are down to 11% body fat, it’s still unlikely that the six-pack will show.  However, you can have a pretty flat stomach and it can look pretty nice on your body. The rest of your body at this point will also look “shredded.”  (That’s bodybuilding jargon for very lean, cut and strong.)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are my favorite ab exercises.  I want to warn you: some of these suck while you are doing them.  The pleasure principle does not apply here.  It will burn and it will surely make you whine. But it does get better over time and you will truly feel much fitter as your abs get strong. Read More→