12 Abs exercises you got to tryBest Stomach Exercises for getting a flat ripped stomach takes a combination of exercises. There are a lot of factors that determine your body shape, such as your gene pool you inherited from your parents, current lifestyle and eating habits.

Some people are naturally firm and muscular and it is easy for them to achieve the ripped abs look. That is a minority of the population. They are the lucky ones. The rest of us have to work at it, some harder than others.

There in lies a secret that hardly gets mentioned when trying to develop your mid section. The secret is you have to do cardio exercises. You have to burn fat off your belly to get to the underlying abdominal muscles.

The myth of doing hundreds of crunches will eventually get you the 6 pack abs is misguided. First of all crunches mainly work your upper abs. There are also lower, middle and love handles that need work. Doing a bunch of crunches is not going to get you there.

From observing people doing crunches in the gym,… most of the time it is preformed wrong. Too much head and neck movement and hardly any sustained resistance on the stomach.

To get results you need to incorporate a cardio program and it needs to vary so your body doesn’t adapt to the exercise. Doing the same routine will make the muscles get extremely efficient at preforming the task and eventually cause you to burn less calories. You need to keep the pressure on the body to work hard, sweat and burn calories.

In addition to the cardio program, integrate your varied ab exercises working all areas of the abdominal group. Without getting too biologically caught up in terminology, you will need to work your lower, mid and upper abs including your love handles, often called your obliques.

When targeting your abs in your workout (not forgetting your cardio) you will need to do several sets per body part. Just like when your working out your legs for example. You wouldn’t just work your calves. You would also do several sets of exercises for your quadriceps and hamstrings as well.

I have researched many different ab exercises. I have worked them and learned that if it’s too easy it really didn’t have much effect. So expect these to be hard at first. As you get better at it you will have to change your routine. Try to work up to 25 reps per exercise.

Select 2 exercises for each section of your abs. 2 for lower, 2 for middle, 2 for upper, 2 for obliques (love handles). Do 25 reps per set. So you will be hitting each muscle 50 times. Eventually you need to work up to 100 reps per specified section. From there you will need to mix it up and keep it difficult to get the maximum effect.

One thing I love the next day is having a very sore mid section. It makes me feel like I am on my way to that 6 pack look.

Disclosure and Warning:

1. Warm up before you do these exercises.

2. Some of the exercises may strain your back. Check with your doctor if you have back problems before you attempt these exercises.

3. Don’t over do it. Start slow and work up to a goal over time. It doesn’t have to be done in your first workout. Chill!

Exercise #1 The AB Wheel

Level of Difficulty: Advanced, do not use it until you have developed a strong core, and have no back,or shoulder issues.

Muscle Worked: Good Core Work hitting the lower, mid and upper abs. $10 piece of equipment can be purchased at Walmart, Target, Amazon or any sports store.

1. Kneel on an exercise mat (or soft ground) to protect your knees.

2. Start with your thighs at 90 degrees to the floor, brace your core and slightly tilt your pelvis back (this will stop your lower back from arching). Rounding of your back a little to remove the stress on it as you roll out.

3. Hold the wheel with both hands directly below your shoulders, keeping your arms straight.

4. Slowly roll the wheel forward as far as you can go keeping good form.

5. If your back starts to arch then you’ve gone too far.

6. Then crunch your abs (tighten them by pulling your belly button to your spine) and roll back into the starting position.

7. Do as many as you can.

Don’t be a show off or hero. You could hurt yourself. Progress by rolling further forward and then increase repetitions. If this exercise is new to you. I promise you will be very sore the next day!

Exercise #2 Reverse Leg Lifts

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Muscle Worked: Lower Abs

Lie on your back, legs straight out, arms by your sides. Lift your legs straight up so your body is in 90 degrees. Lower your feet back to within 1 inch of the floor. Keep them off the floor for added resistance. Do as many as you can. Variation: Lift you legs up directly over your hips. Now press up as if you want your heels to touch the ceiling. You could keep the legs up right and do some heel presses for reps or you could lower your feet and start over.

Exercise #3 The Scissor

Level of Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Muscle Worked: Lower to Mid abs

Lie on your back, feet straigth out and your hands by your sides. Lift your legs a couple of inches off the ground. Then lift one leg straight up over your hip with your heel pointing towards the ceiling. Hold it for 5 seconds then lower it while raising the other leg.

Repeat 25 times. Remember to hold the scissor for a few seconds. Keep both feet flexed throughout the exercise.

Exercise #4 Seated Bicycle

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate to Advance

Muscle worked: lower abs/hip flexors

Sit on the floor with your knees up, hands by your sides, feet on the floor. Lift your legs off the ground slightly and move one knee at a time towards your chest as if peddling a bike alternating legs. Do 25 reps forward and immediately peddling 25 reps backwards. Oh yeah, it will be a good burn. Stick with it!

Exercise #5 V-Up

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

Muscle worked: Love Handle (Obliques)

Lie on your left side, legs parallel, with your left arm straight along your torso. Angle your legs 30 degrees forward. Put your right hand behind your head and bring your legs and right elbow together simultaneously as close as possible. Keep your shoulders and angled legs off the floor throughout the movement. Shoot for 25 reps and then repeat on the other side.

Exercise #6 The Cork Screw

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Muscle worked: Lower abs and Love Handles

Lie on the floor, arms by your sides, legs straight above your hips, knees slightly bent. Pulse your hips up using your lower abs as if pushing your heels to the ceiling. Simultaneously twisting your legs to one side as if your heels are turning 90 degrees. Repeat twisting to the other side. Do as many as you can.

Exercise #7 Weighted V Up

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Muscle worked: Lower to Upper Abs

Lie on the floor legs straight out parallel. Extend your arms over your head either grasping a weight plate or a dumbbell. Lift your legs and the dumbbell up simultaneously and towards each other forming a v shape and slowly lower to the floor. Shoot for 25 reps.

Exercise #8 Weighted Side Crunch

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Muscle Worked: Upper abs and Love Handles

Lie on the floor with your knees up and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell with both hands on your right shoulder. Grip the center of the dumbbell with both hands and point your elbows out. Crunch up while turning and aiming your right elbow to your left knee sort of like the bicycle movement bringing your opposite elbow to the knee. In this movement you will be turning your body to opposing knees. Work one side with as many reps as possible and then switch.

Exercise #9 The Extended Crunch

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Muscle Worked: Upper Abs

Lie on the floor, knees up, feet flat on the floor, extending your arms behind your head and crossed or clasped. Your arms should be parallel to your ears. Contract the abs and lift your shoulders off the floor. Keep your arms straight and do not strain your neck. Variation: Keep one hand extended and the other place the other hand behind your head for support.

Exercise #10 The Plank

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Muscle worked: Core abs

Lie face down on the floor while using your elbows and forearms at 90 degrees for support and on your toes as if doing push ups. Keep your mid section of the floor and try not to arch the back. You should have a flat back appearing like a coffee table. Maintain the position. You will feel the tension in the abs. Try to hold the position for 60 seconds. Repeat for several sets.

Exercise #11 Upside Down Stool

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Muscle Worked: Lower to Upper Abs

Lying on your back raise your legs above your hips while raising your arms straight up as well appearing like a stool that’s been turned over. Keep your shoulders off the ground. Reach up with your arms, pointing your fingers at he ceiling getting as many vertebrae off the floor as possible and hold the position. The higher you get your shoulders off the floor the more intense the position. Repeat

Exercise #12 Plank Dumbell Rows

Push up Dumbbell Rows

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Muscle Worked: Lower to Middle Abs

Start in a push up position with your hands on two dumbbells. Row one dumbbell up while stabilizing your body with the other arm. Don’t let this one fool you. It takes a solid middle section to preform this exercise. Alternate rows.