Everyone would like to have a 6 pack. While keeping your body fat percentage low is part of the battle, making sure you do the right exercises is equally important. So what are the best ab exercise?
The Best Ab Exercises:
A study at the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse aimed to find out. The researchers placed EMG electrodes on the upper rectus abdominis, lower rectus abdominis and obliques of participants. They then had them perform 16 of the most common ab exercises and ab equipment to see which led to the most muscle activation. They tested the following popular equipment and exercises: The Ab Circle Pro, Ab Roller, Ab Lounge, Perfect Sit-Up, Ab Coaster, Ab Rocket, Ab Wheel and Ab Straps, yoga boat poses, stability ball crunches, decline bench curl-ups, captain’s chair crunches, bicycle crunches, side planks, front planks and traditional crunches. Here are the results (the red line represents traditional crunches).
Upper rectus abdominis:
Lower rectus abdominis:
For the upper and lower abs, nothing beat the traditional crunch (except for the decline bench curl up by a slight, non-significant margin). For the obliques, the ab wheel, the decline bench curl-up, along with 4 other exercises outperformed the traditional crunch.
So sticking with the traditional crunch might not be a bad option after all. If you’re going to buy any equipment a decline bench or an ab wheel is probably the way to go (although you’ll only notice a difference in your obliques). Keep upping the resistance, like you would for any other part of the body, no matter what you choose in order to get that 6 pack.