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Ab Exercises - How do they rate

If you have ever wondered which ab exercises are the most effective, I am going to reveal the ones that give the highest muscular output. Abs are worked when your spine bends/curls. Try this quick exercise while standing. Bend your hips. How much ab contraction can you feel? Not much. That is because your are mostly using your hip flexors. The most effective ab exercises involve the curling of your spine. Now from the same position, curl your spine. It is a small movement but you will feel it in your stomach muscles. Next try some side bends, notice as your spine bends, you recruit the abs.

In order to work the stomach muscles, the abdominal muscles must contract hard. It is not about the number of reps or your power output, but muscular output with quality and intense contractions. We have already established elsewhere that the fastest way to a flat stomach and ripped abs is with cardio exercise. This will strip the fat to reveal them. However once revealed you will want to have visibly well developed abs. Here are the best exercises in order to develop them. You do not need to do thousands of variations of the sit up. The following are the results of a study done to determine which exercises for the stomach recruit the most muscle action.

The Results

1. Weighted crunch
The King of all ab exercises, simple and effective. Lie on the floor, put both legs on a bench with knees bent at almost 90 degrees. Now take a weight plate or medicine ball and hold it on your chest. Crunch up, so shoulders are off the floor, try and make your sternum touch your belly button. Squeeze and hold tight for 1 second and repeat
Muscular output = 100%

2.Weighted Sit up and Weighted sit up on an incline board
This was also a great exercise, perform same as the crunch however you do a full sit up. The notable difference was that the power output between a sit up on the floor and one on an incline bench was insignificant. They were virtually the same, so you can forget about using inclined boards as it makes no difference.
To increase muscular output perform this on a swiss ball, i.e. stability ball. Muscular output = 74% Add 10-15% when performed on swiss ball.

3.Roman Chair (weighted sit up)
Sit sideways on a banch and hook your feet under something. Lean back and perform a sit up. As you can go lower than on the floor and your back is not supported you get extra muscular output. A variation of this, which is safer and will give you an extra 10% muscular output is to do the same exercise on a swiss ball.
Muscular output (on bench) = 73%
Muscular output (on swiss ball) = 83%

4.Hanging Knee ups
Hang off a chin up bar and bring knees up to the chest for one rep. Good exercises for lower abs. Limited by upper body strength.
Muscular output = 61%

6.Side Bends (with dumbells or pulleys)
Side Bends work your obliques and should be included in your workout. You can do this with a cable machine or by holding a dumbell in each hand. The dumbell option is superior with an added 6% of muscular out put.
Muscular Output (cable) = 23%
Muscular Output (dumbells)= 29%

Finally ab exercises on machines rated poorly as does all ab equipment like the ab king pro. Don't waste your time on these. These do most of the work for you, reducing muscular output. Focus on the top ones add in plenty of core exercises and those abs will be rippling in no time.

 

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