10 Walkout Holds
This exercise is a bit like the plank but better. Walk your hands out as far as possible without breaking neutral posture. Simply hold as long as you can until you cannot maintain neutral posture. Make sure to squeeze your glutes and abdominals, and keep your chin tucked. To make the exercise harder, keep your legs closer together. To make it easier, spread your feet apart. 45-60 seconds should do the trick.
9 Side Bench Oblique Hold
This is one that will really hit the external and internal obliques. If you think the side plank is effective give this bad boy a try and see what you think.
8 Pallof Press
The Pallof Press is a great core exercise that many are unaware of. This anti-rotation movement is one that many fitness experts and physical therapists love. This exercise hits all of the muscles in core as well as the glutes and shoulders. While this exercise really doesn’t look like much when you watch it you will certainly feel it and it is one of the best for core stability and the favorite core exercise of many.
7 TRX Strap Pikes
The TRX Straps are highly unstable and this requires more of your deep stabilizers in the abdominal region to engage. This one is also a killer exercise for the lower abdominal region making it one of our favorite exercises
6 Swiss Ball Plank Circle
Plain old planks aren’t as great as some like to think, some variations are pretty killer though and this is one of them. As with the TRX Straps in the exercise above the stability ball makes this a much more unstable exercise causing you to use more stabilizing deep core muscles. On top of that add the fact that you make the ball go in circles or do abc’s with it and it becomes great exercise to work the entire core.
5 Body Saw
The body saw is another plank like exercise that blasts the abs. If you don’t have the slider to put under your feet you can just move forward and back on your toes. Placing your feet in TRX Straps is another great way to do it. This exercise is great for the rectus abdominis and the internal obliques.
4 Turkish Get-ups
The Turkish get-up is easily one of the most underrated exercises there is. This exercise works your entire body with emphasis on the entire core and your shoulders. This is a more technical exercise though and it is one that most people newbie’s will do wrong. Here is a great video for those who are looking to do this great exercise correctly. This isn’t one you should just wing it without knowing what you are doing because if you end up dropping the weight on your head that would not feel good and that does happen.
3 Hanging Leg Raise
This one is a very popular one among the bodybuilding community. Some people out there say “it only exercises the hip flexors”, while it does work the hip flexors it also roasts your lower abs and also adds good separation to your abs. Try a few sets of these and let me know if you feel it in your abs or your hip flexors and you will know why it is near the top of the list.
2 RKC Plank
The RKC Plank looks like the traditional plank but it is much more effective. This is because RKC Plank gets a lot more deep core activation than a traditional plank. To do the RKC Plank drive your feet and elbows into the ground as if you are trying to jackknife your body, at the same time squeeze your glutes to keep your body flat. This is much more effective and works the core at much deeper level.
1 Ab Wheel Rollout
Here it is, the big daddy of all ab exercises. This one may look like a wheel on a stick but this exercise is no joke. We should caution you though that this exercise is not for beginners and that the first time you do this exercise you will really be feeling it the next day even if you just do one set.
For this exercise be sure to keep your back arched like a cat to protect your back, if you let your back sag while doing the exercise it can lead to injury. Also, squeezing the glutes throughout the movement is another good way to prevent your back from sagging. If you have never done this exercise before you should start out doing the exercise using a stability ball instead of an ab wheel. You may think it sounds wimpy to do it with a stability ball but it will still work your abs more than you would think and will allow you to work up to the ab wheel.
Once you are advanced you may be able to do this movement from your feet, once you can do that you know you have a core that is made of steal.
We just covered the top 40 ab exercises out there. Use the exercises on the top half of this list to blast your core, the exercises on the second half on the list are simply not as good and should be used more sparingly or for beginners.