What are the best exercises for abs that will burn stomach fat and strengthen the abdominal muscles to give you the abs that you desire - be they beautifully toned abs or rock hard 6 pack abs?
I find that the bicycle crunch and the ab crunch with leg extensions are the two best exercises for the stomach and they are my favorite. These exercises work a majority of the abdominal muscles all at once and they also engage other body parts, in this case, your legs and glutes. These two exercises will help build, strengthen stomach muscles and since they also involve your cardiovascular system, they will improve your stamina and help to burn fat as well.
In my opinion, this is the best abdominal exercise. It works all your abdominal muscles including the lower abs and the oblique muscles – all in 1 exercise. Since the legs and glutes are also involved, this helps to tone and strengthen these muscle groups. This ab specific exercise also helps to build stamina because it provides cardio benefits and increases core strength and stability.
My video below will demonstrate how to do this exercise.
The only things to watch out for is not to pull your head inwards too much with your hands (otherwise you will strain your neck), keep your tummy tucked in and your back flat on the floor, not arched. Basically the energy for this exercise is coming from the core. Remember to breath. Do 1 set of 40 reps on each side.
At the end of the bicycle crunches I like to hold the crunch a couple of times on each side for a few seconds.
Variation of Bicycle Crunch
A variation of this exercise that you can do on a different day is to slow the bicycle crunch exercise down. This will really emphasize your abs and increase your control, core stability and abdominal strength. I forgot to include this in the video that I filmed above, but it is basically the same as the bicycle crunch except that you slow it all down and hold. I am including one of my older videos of this exercise.
Basically bring your right knee and left elbow in as you crunch to the right side and hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Do the same as you crunch in the middle bringing both knees and elbows together for the crunch and repeat the same for your left side by bringing left knee and right elbow in for the crunch. Do 1 set of 8 to 12 reps of these. You will feel these when done properly!
Ab Crunch with Leg Extension
This exercise requires more core strength and stability. It’s great for strengthening your abdominal muscles as well as providing secondary emphasis on the legs, glutes and a lower back stretch.
The second part of the 1st video demonstrates how to do this exercise. In this exercise you will bring both your knees and elbows in as you crunch (breathe out as you do so) and as you release the crunch, you will extend your legs straight outwards (breathe out as you do so). This movement requires strength in your pelvic area, abs and back. That is why this is a great core exercise, as well.
These are two of the best abs exercises that require compound movements, strength and stablility.