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Top 5 Ab Exercises

Okay, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I hate working out my abs! I really want a six pack but don’t want to do any work. Why can’t I just have one? Why can’t I be one of those girls that’s just “naturally” ripped? Maybe in my next life. Since I’m currently still living in this life, I have to work at it.  I actually read this article the other day (I wish I could find it! I’ll keep looking) and it was about women and six pack abs. It essentially said: good luck ladies! The only way you’ll get a six pack is if you’re extremely low on body fat which for women, is very hard to do. Also, (as I’m sure you all know), women naturally have more fat then men and should have more fat (gotta make sure those babies are comfortable!). So, unless you’re training for a figure competition, it’s going to be very difficult to get that fat percentage down to the point where your killer ab muscles show. How lame is that? Again, this information was from one article. One article that, of course, I can’t find now!  I’m sure it also depends on your genetics. We all know those girls (and guys) that naturally have a muscular body. If they start working out a little, you can see their well defined muscles in like, two days.  I have a couple friends like that. I’m sure they get creeped out when I tell them they have nice arms (actually they don’t, they have to love me for who I am! 🙂 ).

If you’re like me and not a figure competitor or a genetic freak, chances are you don’t have six pack abs. But, maybe you have some definition and feel strong, which is really the part I love the most (at least I’ll pretend like it is).  So, even though I hate working out my abs, I love noticing how much stronger I feel after a few weeks of doing so.

One of the trickiest things for me is finding new ab exercises to incorporate into my routine. There are so many out there, but here are my top 5 favorites:

  • Overhead Swiss Ball Pass– These are so hard! You basically start by laying down on your back, legs straight and arms straight overhead holding the swiss ball. Next, you crunch up bringing your arms and legs together, therefore passing the ball to your legs, then lower back down. That’s one rep. I did as many as I could possibly do (which was like 20) the other day and I’m still sore. If you’re just starting out on this exercise, don’t lower your legs quite as far- doing so will make it harder.


  • Crunch on Bosu Ball– This is essentially a normal crunch, just laying on top of a bosu ball. The instability and the slight incline makes it much harder than a standard crunch.


  • Side Plank with Dips-These are surprisingly difficult. I did these for the first time in a workout class when living in Chicago; I was so sore the next day! Not only are these a great oblique exercise, but they also work the rest of your abs and your shoulder. I usually try to complete 3 sets of 10 on each side.


  • Reverse Crunches–  I love these because you can really feel your lower abs working. You can do these on a bench or just on the floor. To make them harder, you could do them on a bench with an incline. Your basically just using your lower abs to lift your butt and hips off the floor/bench. This video shows an instructor with her butt off the bottom of the bench, I usually start with mine on the bench.


  • Mountain Climbers– Oooo these are hard! This is basically a full body workout and a bit of cardio! I sometimes do these slower and instead of bringing my knees straight up towards my chest, I cross them towards the opposite elbow. Either way, you’ll feel it in your abs! To make this harder, you could place your hands on a swiss ball instead of the ground.


Those are some of my favorite (by favorite, I mean most difficult) ab exercises. I usually try to get them out of the way first thing, just because I hate doing them. If you like feeling sore the next day, you’ll love these exercises!


What’s your favorite ab exercise?


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