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5 Best Ab Exercises for Men

FITNESS
MEN
17 Mar 2021

5 best ab exercises for men to get the results you want!

Abs are one of the most sought after body parts for aesthetics.

Men want them to impress people, to have the perfect beach body, or to turn heads whenever they take their shirt off. Even with this being true, most times people skip this part of the workout or don't train their abs as much as they should to get the perfect abs.

If you're looking to get a six-pack, doing endless crunches won't do the trick. Any gym coach, personal trainer, or even any six-pack owner can testify that you need to include different types of ab exercises to achieve your goals. You're now probably wondering which ab exercises you can add to your workout to sculpt the abs that you want. 

With the help of a team of coaches and personal trainers, we gathered 5 simple exercises that will help you get the body of your dreams. These exercises are designed to hit all four sections of your abs: 

  1. Lower abs
  2. Upper abs
  3. Obliques
  4. Inner abs

By adding and mixing up the following five exercises, you'll be able to develop a truly amazing six-pack. Just remember that you need to be consistent and keep yourself accountable. 

The best part about an ab workout is that you don't need to have a gym membership or spend large amounts of money to get the right equipment. You just need some space on the floor, a yoga mat, and you're good to go.

Let's talk more about these exercises, their variations, how to do them correctly, and how to add them into your workout to get truly impressive results. 

1. Bicycle crunches

This popular and simple abdominal exercise is a must in your daily workout. It's one of the most complete and most effective crunches because it targets your entire abs and core, plus when doing it for a while and at a certain speed, it can also add some cardio to your workout.

How to do a bicycle crunch?

  1. Sit on the floor
  2. Put your hands behind your head and flare your elbows
  3. Lie down on the floor
  4. Bring your right elbow to your left knee
  5. Go back to lying on the floor
  6. Bring your left elbow to your right knee
  7. Repeat

For this exercise to work properly, you should flare your elbow and not pull your body up with it. It's also essential for this exercise that you curl your torso up. This way, you'll be twisting by using your torso and not just moving your elbows and your head. Once you master the technique, you can add some speed to your crunches.

How many reps

Beginner: 4 sets of 10 to 20 reps on each side or as many crunches as you can fit in 20 seconds.

Intermediate: 4 sets of 20 to 30 reps on each side or as many crunches as you can fit in 30 seconds.

Advanced: 4 sets of 30 to 40 reps on each side or as many crunches as you can fit in 40 seconds.

2. Jack knives

Jack knives are one of the most popular abdominal exercises among athletes. This is because they put your entire core to work. They target mostly your lower abs but are a great workout for upper and inner abs as well. Even though they might be difficult at first, once you become a pro, you'll see amazing results. 

How to do jack knives?

  1. Lie down flat on the floor extending your arms and legs
  2. At the same time, lift your legs and your torso trying to reach your toes with your hands.
  3. Go back to the initial position without touching the floor with your heels.
  4. Repeat

How many reps?

Beginner: 4 sets of 10 - 15 reps

Intermediate: 4 sets of 15 - 20 reps

Advanced: 4 sets of 20 - 30 reps

3. Lying leg raises

Lying leg raises are one of the top lower abs exercises. They're simple and super easy to do, but most importantly, they're effective. 

How to do lying leg raises?

  1. Lie down flat on the floor extending your legs and with your arms by your sides.
  2. Raise your legs until you reach an "L" position.
  3. Slowly get your legs back to the initial position without letting your heels touch the ground.
  4. Repeat

You can do this exercise with a hip thrust and target your obliques as well. 

How many reps?

Beginner: 3 sets of 10 - 15 reps / 3 sets of 8 - 12 reps with hip thrust

Intermediate: 3 sets of 15 - 20 reps / 3 sets of 12 - 16 reps with hip thrust

Advanced: 3 sets of 20 - 30 reps / 3 sets of 16 - 20 reps with hip thrust

 

4. Planks

Planks are one of the best exercises to strengthen your core. You can find all sorts of exercises in a plank position and you can also find different plank variations. Static planks will elevate your workout like you can't imagine. 

Plank variations

  1. High plank / basic plank / regular plank
  2. Elbow plank
  3. Side plank
  4. Reverse plank

How many reps?

Beginner: 20 - 30 seconds

Intermediate: 40 - 50 seconds

Advanced: 1 minute or more

5. Sit-ups

When people talk about abs, inevitably, sit-ups come to mind. These are some of the most basic crunches that people do insanely without getting results. This is because they aren't doing them properly, but when when you do them right they can do wonders for your body. 

How to do sit-ups?

  1. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Place your hands on the back of your head and flare your elbows.
  3. Slowly lift your torso up by tensing your core until you form a "V" with your thighs and your torso.
  4. Go back down to the initial position.
  5. Repeat.

This exercise targets mainly your upper abs. You can add a twist to your sit ups to target your inner abs and obliques.

How many reps?

Beginner: 3 sets of 10 - 15

Intermediate: 3 sets of 15 - 20

Advanced: 3 sets of 20 - 30

Each exercise by itself isn't enough to get rid of your belly fat and show your abs. But when you mix them up and commit to training them frequently, you'll be getting results faster than you could've imagined. Just remember to have a balanced diet, eat healthy, cut down junk foods, and sleep well for a better outcome. Once you see those abs coming out, all the pain and effort will be worth it. 

Words by Erika Nogueron

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