Looking for the best ab workouts for men? We’ve got you covered
When people think of their abs they tend to treat them a little differently from the other muscles of the body but the reality is that they’re just like your chest or biceps and they need to be trained in a similar way.
Something to keep in mind when training your abs is that although they’re a small muscle group they do need time to recover so don’t over train them. Three workouts per week is plenty of stimulation for your core.
You’re probably aware of this by now but there are better exercises out there for ab development besides regular crunches and sit ups. So without any delay, here are the five best ab movements that will take your ab training to the highest level.
Ab Move #1 – Hanging Knee Raise
When you think of ab workouts for men you have to take note of this particular exercise. It will work your entire lower abdominal region and help keep your stomach flat and tight.
Not only will it hit this region but accompanying muscles such as your biceps, shoulders, lats and hip flexors will be engaged during this movement.
To begin, grab hold of a pull up bar using an overhand grip with hands shoulder width apart. Keep your feet together and in one smooth motion, bring your knees up towards your chest as you simultaneously round your lower back and tuck your butt under yourself.
Let your thighs come right up against your chest and hold this position for a second before slowly returning to the starting position and repeating.
Make sure to really engage your mid section to prevent your torso and hips swinging from momentum.
This starts off the same as the normal variation but instead of bringing your knees up and making your thighs touch your chest, you keep your legs as straight as possible.
Lift your legs up so that they form a 90 degree angle with your torso and continue to bring your legs right up towards your hands so that your shins almost come into contact with the bar you’re holding on.
Slowly bring your legs back down to the starting position and repeat.
Ab Move #2 – Push up to Jackknife
This move will make use of a standard TRX strap but if you don’t have access to one you can simply use a stability ball.
To begin, get your feet into the TRX handles while facing away from the machine. Get into a push up position with your legs completely straight and your entire body forming a straight line from head to toe.
In this starting position, do a regular push up with your legs kept straight. As you come up and straighten your arms, pull your hips forward until you’re in a pike position.
In other words, you’ll look as though you’re doing a hand stand with your butt facing the ceiling with your legs remaining straight.
Lower yourself back into the starting push up position and repeat.
Stability Ball Variation
This version is essentially the same as the TRX method but instead of having your feet in handles, your toes will be on the stability ball and when you go into the pike position you’ll be pulling the ball in towards yourself as you keep your legs straight.
It’s a little bit tricky but there’s a reason this was added to this list of best ab workouts for men.
Ab Move #3 – Endurance Planking
This is your regular plank exercise but instead of just stopping there we’re going to add a side plank in a circuit fashion which will really challenge your mid section and engage those oblique muslces.
To begin, get into a plank position with your bodyweight resting on your forearms and your body forming a straight line from head to toe.
Keep your core tight and focus on pulling your navel towards your spine.
Hold this position for 60 seconds and immediately roll over to your right side and without letting part of your body touch the ground, rest your body weight on your right forearm and keep your feet stacked on top of each other. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Follow this up by immediately rolling over to your left side and resting on your left forearm and holding this side plank for 30 seconds as well.
This will make a 2 minute plank circuit. Do as many of these plank circuits as possible without taking a break and note your total plank time. Each week take note of how much you’ve improved.
Ab Move #4 – Ab Rollout
This move may feel a bit awkward and hurt to a degree but it should be the good kind of hurt. This move is definitely not for those who have any type of back problem whatsoever.
It may be an ab roller exercise but if you don’t have access to one then it’s perfectly fine to use a barbell with plates instead.
Start on your knees with the ab roller or barbell right in front of you. Use an over handed grip and slowly roll out as far as you comfortably can while inhaling.
Don’t touch the floor at all except for your knees and make sure to keep your abs tight and tucked in to prevent your lower back from dropping and arching too much and stessing it unnecessarily.
After holding this extended position for a second, tighten your abs and pull yourself back to the starting position as your exhale along the way.
Think you’ve got what it takes to complete all the exercises in this list of ab workouts for men? Head on to the final abdominal move!
Ab Move #5 – Oblique Crunch
This move is designed to really target the inner and outer oblique muscles. It’s similar to a crunch except you’re on your side and crunching with the muscles on the side of your body instead.
Grab a regular bench and lay across it on your right side so that your upper body is off the bench and not supported by anything. Steady yourself by bringing your lower leg forward and hooking your heel under the bench.
Bring your top leg back and also hook your heel under the beach.
With your left hand at your temple and your right hand on your left obliques, lower your upper body below the level of the bench by about 30 degrees and then come up as high as you can and crunch them.
Lower yourself again and repeat for a total of 15 repetitions per side. If you struggle with this exercise then you can make it a little bit easier by having less of your upper body hang off the bench to begin with.
That sums up the best ab exercises for men and if you incorporate these into your regular workout program you’ll get great results.
Remember to keep your mid section tight and engaged throughout all movements for all the listed exercises and push yourself each week.