Top 40 Ab Exercises: Best Ab Exercises Ranked

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29 Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is one that really hits the lower abs. Make sure you get those hips off the ground on this one.

28 Bicycle crunch

top ab exercises


The bicycle crunch hits the rectus abdominis and the obliques. This is one you will feel the next day if you don’t do them regularly.

27 Side Plank

Best ab exercise

Here we have the first plank variation on the list. There are tons of plank variations out there and the list would be full of them so we just went with a few basic ones. This one hits the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques and quadratus lumborum.

26 Side V-ups

This is another exercise that hammers the obliques. Make sure you get those feet up off the ground and squeeze at the top to totally fry your obliques with this exercise.

25 Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks is a pretty good exercise. This one hits the rectus abdominis and the obliques along with the hip flexors. This ab exercise is great to burn the abs out at the end of an ab workout.

24 Mountain Climbers

Ab exercises

This one is an old standard people probably remember from gym class or playing sports. Mountain climbers work most of your body including doing a great job of working your core. Use this one as a finisher at the end of your workout to burn calories and work your core.

23 Arms High Crunch

Crunch cariations

This version of the crunch is more difficult since the arms overhead leverage to make it more difficult. This is not the last version of the crunch you will see on this list.

22 Traditional Plank

Here we have your traditional plank, an exercise people love to hate. This one was all the rage years ago, but there are other varieties of the plank that have been found to be more effective at working the core than the traditional plank.

21 Leg Raise and Hold

leg raise

This one reminds me of football and wrestling practice when our coaches would torture us with these holds. Holding your legs off the ground will burn and pain the abs like crazy. See how long you can hold your legs up and feel it work your core.

20 Sledgehammer Swings

Mindee Le Diehl

If you are looking for an exercise on this list to make yourself feel like a badass then this is the one for you. Whacking a tire with a hammer is great for your entire core. It is also great for your forearms and grip strength. This exercise can also be used as a fun way to do cardio.


19 Toes to Bar

This one is a CrossFit Staple. It seems simple enough, touch your toes to the bar, bring them back down and repeat. This one is not as easy as it looks though. This exercise will fry your entire core and also work your lats, grip strength and even your chest. If you are a beginner this is an exercise you will likely not be able to do, you will likely need to get your core stronger before you will be able to perform this exercise and get your feet all the way up to the bar.


18 Cable Crunch

best ab exercises

The cable crunch is one of the favorites among those in the bodybuilding community. You can do this one straight forward to hit the rectus abdominis or curl to the sides and work more of the obliques.

17 Landmine 180’s

This one is also sometimes called the Russian Twist. These work the entire core and your arms as well. Some feel this exercise looks great but isn’t really that effective. It is a matter of personal preference, try it out and see what you think.

16 Hollow Rocks

hollow rocks

Hollow Rocks is good exercise to hit the deeper core muscles that people often overlook. Training those deeper core muscles help with stability for and sport or strength program.

15 Wide Stance Anti-rotation

This one is another great ant-rotation exercise. You probably figured that part out from the name. This one hits the entire core and is great for spinal stability and people with back issues.

14 Suitcase Carry

Single arm farmers walk

Farmer’s walks can build some serious muscle. When you do the farmer’s walk while carrying the weight in just one hand (also called the suitcase carry) it really hits your core hard and fights muscle imbalances. This one works the obliques hard and also a bit of the rectus abdominis.

13 Seated Knee-tuck

The seated knee tuck blasts your rectus abdominis and provides a wicked burn. This one can be tough to balance so be sure you are holding something firm when doing this exercise.

12 Hanging wipers

This one is a really tough exercise that isn’t for beginners. It’s tough to do and it really hits your core hard especially the obliques. Just make sure when you are doing this one not to kick anyone in the head by accident, they generally don’t appreciate that.

 11 Kneeling half chop

The kneeling half crunch is another exercise that works the obliques and the abdominals. We gave you a video for this one so you can see how it is done since a video is a lot better than a written description.