Which are the best ab exercises for your abs?? Which will give you the best workout?
A study at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University looked at a variety of common abdominal exercises in order to give us that answer.
Thirteen ab exercises were studied and ranked by effectiveness, based on muscle stimulation (measured with EMG) in the Rectus Abdominis and the Internal and External Obliques. The more EMG activity, the higher the ranking.
The results showed that the most effective abdominal exercises were the ones that require constant abdominal stabilization, as well as body rotation.
The top 3 ab exercises are: Bicycles, The Captain's Chair, and Crunches on an Exercise Ball, in that order. While Crunches on the Ball ranked 3rd, it should be #1 overall for many, because it can be done by almost anyone.
Bicycles and the Captain's Chair are more advanced exercises and should not be attempted by beginners. Beginners have yet to develop adequate strength of the torso and the neck to handle advanced exercises and could injure themselves.
One surprising result was that the traditional crunch ranked 11th out of 13. The study also showed slight differences in which exercises would give you the most effective workout for the rectus abdominis or the obliques.
Bicycles and the Captain's Chair were #1 and #2 on both lists, with Bicycles the best for the rectus abs, and the Captain's Chair the best for the obliques.
The 5 Best Exercises For
The Rectus Abdominis:
The 5 Best Exercises
For The Obliques: