When it comes to ab exercises, so many of us get in the groove of going to the gym, and just repeat the same exercises over and over again. Almost everyone got an ab routine, where they do a basic workout such as : crunches, sit-ups, and leg raises, and maybe try to sneak in some ab machines.
A routine ab exercises, will only slow down the progress, because when your body does the same thing repeatedly it starts to adapt to it.
That’s why today we bring you 10 challenging ab exercises that you may have never done before.
Ab Exercise #1: Decline Barbell Boat Row
Starting with the very first exercise decline barbell boat row. To begin thise exercise you’ll want to sit back on a declined bench with a barbell, or a body-bar in your hands. Keep your elbows bent and hold the bar close to your hips. Don’t lock your elbows and turn it into more of a shoulder workout.
Lean back and even your body with your knees, and then make an arch like you get when paddling while kayaking or canoeing.
Go side to side for 3 reps of 30-60 seconds with a 60seconds rest in between. This will give you a burn but will help you activate those six-pack muscles and give you the strength to stabilize your body in a declined position.
Ab Exercise #2: Raise Leg Ab Stack
Another exercise you might’ve seen online, but never considered trying yourself is the Raised Leg Ab Stack. This one will require you to use the risers that go under the aerobics steps.
Now once you have a couple risers lay down on the ground and position the risers above your head. Also raise your legs up and bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Raise your hands above your head, grab a riser, crunch up, and place it on your shins, then keep repeating until all the risers are stacked on top of each other. From there you’ll want to reverse everything you just did, by crunching up and removing one riser at a time from your shins and placing them back behind your head.
This exercise is awesome and very effective because it almost incorporates a similar structure to dropsets. As you stack more of the risers on your shins you have to crunch harder to reach higher, but then after you stack all of them and you start removing them one at a time, it becomes easier with each riser taken away. A couple rounds of stacking and unstacking and your abs will be toasted.
Ab Exercises #3: The TRX Knee Tuck
Let’s move on to another one I rarely see people doing – the Trx multiplanar knee tuck. Here you would start by sitting facing the TRX with your feet under the TRX straps. Cross the TRX straps over each other so that your right foot goes in the left strap and your left foot goes in the right strap. Then throw one foot over the other and turn over so that the straps are no longer crossed and you’re on your stomach.
From there get into a pushup position and brace your core so that your heels, hips, and head stay in a straight line the whole time. Don’t allow your hips to drop because that could end up causing a back injury, and don’t raise them up too high into a downard dog position. Once you’re in the correct starting position tuck your knees into your chest, but rather than focusing on your knees concentrate on curling your hips into your chest.
Then return back to the starting position, and turn your hips over to the side as you tuck your knees once to each side. repeat this movement for 10 to 20 reps, and you can bet that you’ll be feeling it throughout your entire core.
Ab Exercises # 4: Hanging L-sit Leg Lift
Another great one that’s a little more advanced, is the hanging L sit leg lift. Now if this one seems a little too tough for you, don’t worry I’ll give you a couple regressions, but the exercise is done by hanging off of a pull-up bar, with your legs already raised up at a 90-degree angle in an L sit position.
Next you would tilt your upper body back, as you raise your legs up until your feet or shins meet the bar, and then slowly lower your legs and rotate your body back to the starting position. Most people are unaware that regular hanging leg raises? primarily work the hip flexors, not the ABS. but by starting in an L sit and bike curling your hips into your chest, we target the ABS much better with that set.
If this is too hard for you then try to do it with your knees bent instead of extended, it would be the same idea here, except you would basically be doing it in a bent knee l-sit position.
Ab Exercises #5: Power Rope Medicine Ball Slams
This one will require a medicine ball that has a rope attached to it as well as a concrete wall. if you don’t have a concrete wall or a power rope ball, I’ll show you a couple of variations you could do with a regular medicine ball in a second.
To begin this exercise normally, start by standing close to a wide enough concrete wall with your back facing it, hold the rope with both hands and then turn your body with force and slam the ball into the wall on one side, as soon as it bounces off the wall you’ll want to explode in the other direction and slam it into the other side then go back and forth trying to aim for a time like 30 to 60 seconds. this exercise looks crazy, but your obliques will be burning.
Another way you can do it if you don’t have a concrete wall, is to get down on the ground into the same position you would for Russian twists, and then twist back and forth as you slam the ball from side to side.
Ab Exercises #6: Inclined Pulse Ups
Another awesome exercise that most people aren’t doing, is the incline pulls up and if you’re thinking I’ve already known about pulse ups, I challenge you to try it on an incline because it feels totally different, and puts a lot more attention on your rectus abdominus. if you have a decline bench it’ll help, but you can also perform this exercise just by taking a regular bench, setting it at an incline and holding onto the pad behind your head.
But regardless of which of these you use you’ll want to lay back against the bench, grab something sturdy behind your head and point your feet straight up towards the ceiling, then drive your hips and your legs straight up almost in a straight line, you don’t want to wind up with your feet and your legs going over your head.
Ab Exercise #7: Landmine Russian Twist
Next Ab exercise we’re going back to the obliques with a great exercise, known as landmine Russian twist. now I know a lot of people out there that don’t know about regular landmine 180s where you would place the barbell into a landmine, and rotate the barbell side to side with your arms extended to target your obliques. but a variation of this exercise that could be much more effective for your core, is the landmine Russian twist.
The major difference is that with the Russian twist version you would start on the ground with your feet and upper back slightly elevated off the floor, then just like you would with the landmine 180s, you would keep your arms pretty straight while turning the barbell from one side to the other. if you’re a beginner you can also regress the exercise by performing it with your feet on the ground to make it easier.
Ab Exercise #8: Resistance Band Pikes
Next we have Another Ab exercise, resistance band pikes to perform this exercise, you would need valslides or furniture movers as well as a resistance band, you can technically use paper plates in place of the valslides if you’re okay with people the gym taking pictures of you while you’re working out, but in either case you would start by anchoring the resistance band to something sturdy that won’t move when you pull on it.
Then step inside the resistance band and put valslides under both of your feet now inch your feet forward until most of the slack is removed from the resistance band, and get down into a push-up position, then while in that push-up position walk your body forward some more until you feel some resistance pulling you back.
At that point you’ll want to slide your valslides along the floor towards your hands while raising your butt up towards the ceiling, then return to the original starting push-up position and repeat for reps. if this happens to be too difficult for you you can also simply do a vas side knee tuck with the resistance band, just make sure that you’re trying to curl your hips into your chest on each rep.
Ab Exercise #9: Body Bar Oblique Twist
This is a pretty advanced move that really targets the obliques as -those hard-to-target- serrutus anterior muscles ( the muscles that wraps around your rib cage and attaches to the bottom of the shoulder blades), which brings out awesome abdominals.
Stand in a shoulder-width stand, hold a barbell over one shoulder with both hands grasping the bar. Then brace your core and twist your upper body until the bar is directed in front of you. Contract your obliques as you twist and rotate and return to the starting point.
Ab Exercise #10: Hollow Body Rock
For our last and final ab exercise, the hollow body rock for this one you would start lying on your back and then raise your feet and your upper body slightly above the ground with your hands above your head, then you would just rock back and forth for a certain time interval which can be 30 seconds 60 seconds or 90 or more seconds, depending on your skill level.
That’s about it guys, I know some of you may have known at least a couple of these exercises. but, I truly hope that I was able to show you at least a few.
Another article you may like : 10 Exercises All Men Should Avoid! NEVER DO THEM AGAIN