The 41 Hardest Ab Exercises

How to Strengthen Your Core with Planks

Diet Coke and Mentos eruption
Thanks again for stopping by. Get between the benches and hold yourself up with your arms so that your body forms an L shape. We provide continuous shelter pet support and compassionate disaster relief. Bend your knees so your heels are on the floor, feet flexed. Lie on your back with arms extended overhead, legs straight out.

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Join us in giving these pets a loving home. You could be an instant winner! These dogs are on the path to a healthier weight. Check out their weight loss success. Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. From the hanging position, use your shoulders, back and core to pull your body -- totally straight -- from the perpendicular position up to a position parallel to the floor.

If you can reach this position, hold it for as long as you can. To work your way up to this position, start with your knees tucked in: Your glutes -- and hips and back -- are all part of your core. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms down.

Bend your knees so your heels are on the floor, feet flexed. Squeeze your glutes so your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Maintaining this straight line and keeping your hips square, lift your right foot off the ground and bring your knee to your chest.

Return it to the floor and lift your left knee to your chest. Hang from a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands wider than shoulder-width apart. To make it more difficult, keep your legs straight as you raise them and work toward raising your straight legs all the way up to the bar.

Popularized by CrossFit, this exercise, like the banana roll, will make you feel silly twice -- first for how you look and second when you realize how much you underestimated its challenge. Using your core to get going, rock your body so that you look like the bottom of a rocking chair. Crunches are like Nickelback -- incredibly popular but most people agree they stink. But throw in some incline gravity! Lie faceup on an incline bench with your hips lower than your head, your body forming a straight line from head to heels.

Grab the bar behind your head for support or grasp the sides of the bench. Lift your knees toward your chest. Slowly lower your feet toward the floor and repeat.

Top Core Exercises for Runners. One benefit of the weighted carry is that it builds functional strength. But in the real world, little variables pop up, says Mike Wunsch, director of training and program design at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. Double-wrap a thick mini exercise band around the handle of a kettlebell. Perform a weighted carry holding the band with the kettlebell suspended underneath. Engage your entire torso to maintain an erect posture while carrying the heavy weight.

Walk 20 yards or so, then turn around and come back. Set two benches parallel to one another a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Get between the benches and hold yourself up with your arms so that your body forms an L shape. Your torso should be perpendicular to the floor, your arms straight at your sides and your legs out in front of you, parallel to the floor.

The Best Exercise for Ripped Abs. Your body will form an L shape. While holding this position, perform pull-ups, pulling your chest up to the bar while pulling your shoulders back and down. Return to the bottom of the pull-up, but keep your legs in the L shape.

The Best Core Workout Routines. Even though this exercise has it's roots in yoga, don't let that fool you as to it's intensity.

Get a or pound weight plate and hold it in front of your chest as you come to the top of a modified boat pose -- seated, leaning back, legs in a tabletop, weight in front of your chest. Hold this position as you breathe in and out through your nose, keeping your abs contracted and preventing your lower back from curving.

Take a break for 30 seconds and catch your breath. Fastest Ways to Get a Six-Pack. Concentrate on pressing your lower back into the floor at the beginning of each rep by pinning your navel to your spine. This will engage your pelvic floor throughout the exercise. Lie on your back with your legs straight. Hold your arms straight above your head, gripping a medicine ball so your elbows are by your ears.

Without bending your elbows or knees, contract your abdominal muscles, fold your body up by lifting your arms and legs off the floor and stretch your arms toward your toes. Keep your back straight. Pause, then return to the starting position. Stand next to a cable station with a rope attachment, the stack on your right. Kneel on your right knee closest to the base of the cable , your left knee bent 90 degrees. Grab the rope with both hands and stretch it taut, holding it down below your right hip.

Return to start, repeat and switch sides. Squats tax your core already. Moving the weight over your head makes maintaining your proper squat form even more difficult. What keeps that form correct? Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Grab a barbell with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart, and raise it overhead so your shoulders are roughly in line with your heels. Keep your arms straight and directly overhead as you push your hips back to squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.

Press back up to standing. Kettlebell Exercises for the Abs. Most non-crunch core moves focus on rotation. But your core also functions to resist rotation -- the world tries to wrench you into a twist, and your torso keeps you from getting pulled. Stand with a cable at waist level on your right. Pull the cable out and hold it against the front of your chest with both hands, knees slightly bent.

The cable should be taut. Hold your core tight. Maintaining this body position, press the cable straight out away from your chest. The cable will try to rotate you toward the station, but resist it. Return the handle to your chest and repeat. Grab a pair of pound weight plates and hold them together directly in front of your chest, smooth sides facing out. Spread your fingers wide on the plates. Squeeze the plates together as you press them forward until your arms are pointing straight out in front.

Return the plates to your chest and repeat. Put the car in neutral and give it a shot. On a long, flat stretch of pavement, have a friend put a car in neutral. Stand behind the car and put your hands on the trunk about shoulder-width apart. Awesome name for a double-duty move. Keeping your hips level as you row each dumbbell to your shoulder will tax your core while you train your lats.

Assume a push-up position while holding a dumbbell in each hand directly below your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Maintaining this body line, bend your elbows until your chest is between the dumbbells.

Press back to start, then bend one elbow to row the weight up next to your rib cage. Return it to the floor, do another push-up and repeat on the other side. As with the renegade row, this move engages your lats while you stabilize your core. Lie on your left side in a side-plank position facing a low cable pulley. Prop yourself up on your left elbow with feet stacked and body forming a straight line from head to heels.

Row the handle of the cable machine with your right arm until your hand is in line with your torso. Return the cable to start and repeat.

Then switch sides and repeat. Placing weight on one side of an exercise means your core has to work to keep your body upright. Stand holding a dumbbell at your right side. Take a large step forward with your left leg, lowering as you step until your knees both form degree angles. Press back to standing and repeat. For an added challenge, try moving the weight to your shoulder then straight overhead or to the other arm.

Your core fires first in moves like these and stabilizes your torso to let you use the rest of your strength to do the move. Lie on your back with arms at your sides, palms down, legs extended. Lift your legs perpendicular to the ground so the soles of your feet face the ceiling.

Keeping your legs straight, lower your right leg until it hovers just a few inches off the ground. Your left leg should still be sticking straight up. Return your right leg to the top, lower your left leg and repeat. It has to fire in all kinds of moves, especially squats. Throw in a row and, well…you get it. Stand facing a cable machine stack set at shoulder- or waist-height.

Grab the handle with your left hand. Stand on your right leg with your knee slightly bent, your left leg trailing behind you. Push your hips back to squat with your right leg. As you stand back up, bring your left leg forward so your knee is up in a marching position and row the cable to your side.

Return to start, repeat and switch arms and legs. This move is pretty much the pinnacle of side-plank progressions. Lie on your right side, prop up on your right hand with your hand directly beneath your shoulder and arm straight. Your feet should be stacked on top of each other, your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Extend your left arm so that your body forms a T.

Maintaining this rigid body line, separate your legs, raising your left leg until your body forms a five-pointed star.

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