Study Searches for Best Ab Exercises
In a study conducted by the Biomechanics Lab at the San Diego State University, thirteen common abdominal exercises were measured using an electromyography. This specialized equipment measures the activity in the abdominal muscles during the performance of the exercise.
What does all this mean? Well each abdominal exercise was analyzed for the effectiveness in the rectus abdominus and oblique muscles to determine the best ab exercises.
Thirty healthy men and women ranging in age from 20 to 45 participated in this study. Each person was allowed to practice the abdominal exercise before doing 10 to 12 reps of each exercise. The data was gathered and analyzed.
Best Ab Exercises
If you are like many people who thought the traditional crunch was the best abdominal exercise then the results of this study will surprise you. Rather than being one of the best abdominal exercises, the traditional crunch actually ranked in the bottom three.
The top 3 ab exercises for overall effectiveness and for the most effective in the rectus abdominus muscle were the bicycle crunch, captains chair and the exercise ball crunch. The most effective in the oblique muscles ranking number 1 3 respectively were the captains chair, bicycle crunch and the reverse crunch.
Worst Ab Exercises
Although this study only included 13 ab exercises and all the exercises showed some effectiveness, these three showed the least activity and effectiveness in the rectus abdominus and oblique muscles. These three are the traditional crunch coming in at number 11, the exercise tubing pull at number 12 and last was the ab rocker.
Just because these 3 came in at the bottom does not mean you should remove them from your list of abdominal exercises. However, if you are looking to purchase abdominal exercise equipment you may want to consider some more effective than the ab rocker in order to get your moneys worth.
Effective Ab Exercise Routine
To get the most out of your abdominal exercises and flatten your stomach you want to make sure you are working all the abdominal muscles. The ab muscles include the rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominus muscle.
Most abdominal exercises target the rectus abdominus and oblique muscles but it is critical you also include exercises that work the transverse abdominus muscle. This muscle acts as a griddle to help tighten and hold in your stomach.
To get the most out of your abdominal exercises try including several different ab exercises so that you work all the muscles. Exercises like the bicycle crunch work all the ab muscles, including the transverse abdominus. Make your abdominal exercise routine varied and fun. Add new and different ab exercises each time to ensure you are hitting all the muscles and toning all areas.