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5 Best Abs Exercises

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

There are a plethora of various abdominal exercises to choose from. Some are well-known, such as the plank and sit up.

Other ab exercises are very uncommon, such as the Russian medicine ball twist.

I think that the reverse crunch with leg lower would be the single most effective abs workout if I had to choose just one.

However, since one exercise is not always the greatest option, we have prepared a list of the top 5 best abdominal exercises for your convenience.

The Best Abs Exercises

Below are five of the best abs exercises.

If you truly want to achieve the strongest, most defined six-pack abs possible, you must select workouts that target all of the core muscles in a variety of ways.

That is why we selected the workouts that you see listed above.

Their focus is on a variety of different core muscles, including those in the upper and lower cores, the obliques, the lower back, and hip muscles.

These ab exercises also help to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance via a variety of mechanisms, including the following.

  • Metabolic fatigue

  • Eccentric contraction

  • Isometric contraction

Despite the fact that there is a broad range of abdominal exercises available, some are more effective than others for certain areas of the abdominal muscles, such as the upper or lower abdomen or the core abdominals.

We'll start by going through these abdominal exercises in greater depth.

1) The Reverse Crunch with Leg Lower

In comparison to the conventional reverse crunch, the reverse crunch with leg lower is a more advanced version of the exercise.

The reverse crunch is particularly effective in targeting the following muscles.

  • Rectus abdominis (the core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (the side abdominal muscles)

  • Quadriceps (the front leg muscles)

If you can master this abdominal exercise, you will have a very effective method of targeting the majority of the abdominal muscles.

reverse crunch with leg lower

How to Do the Crunch with Leg Lower:

  1. To begin, lie face up in a comfortable position with your legs straight up in the air, and arms flat at the sides of your body, forming a “L” shape with your body.

  2. Contract your abs and raise your hips straight up, then gently lower them back down in a controlled way.

  3. Continue to lower your legs until they're only a few inches over the ground, all while maintaining your legs completely straight.

  4. Rep the movement by bringing your legs back to their starting position.

  5. Continue until you have completed your desired number of repetitions.

2) The Side Plank

This exercise is a mainstay in many regimens since it is so effective.

It is a fantastic workout in general, but it is particularly effective for toning the obliques and the other underlying abdominal muscles.

The side plank primarily works on the following muscles.

  • Rectus abdominis (the core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (the side abdominal muscles)

  • Glutes (the major buttocks muscles)

If you can master the side plank and include it into your exercise routine, you'll be well on your way to achieving the six-pack you've always wanted.

side plank

How to Do the Side Plank:

  1. To begin, put your right hand on the floor in the centre of the room. As you lift yourself up into the side plank, keep your arm straight.

  2. It's possible to put both of your feet on the floor in a staggered stance, or you may stack both of your feet on top of each other.

  3. As you push yourself up into the side plank posture, breathe deeply.

  4. As you continue to maintain this posture, lift through the side of your body, attempting to remain as motionless as possible throughout.

  5. Squeeze your obliques and engage all of your core muscles at the same time.

  6. Maintain this posture until you are unable to maintain it any longer.

Variations of the Side Plank

There are many variations of the side plank that you could try instead.

side plank variations

3) The Dead Bug

The dead bug is a popular and useful exercise in many core workouts.

It's yet another excellent general core workout that may help you improve strength and muscular growth in your abdominals and back.

This is why it has been included in this list of the best abdominal workouts available.

Muscles specifically activated include.

  • Rectus abdominis (the core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (the side abdominal muscles)

Once again, using the deadbug in your exercise may help to increase its efficacy by a considerable amount.

dead bug exercise

How to Do the Dead Bug:

  1. Lie down on a soft floor with your lower back and hips pushed firmly on the surface.

  2. Maintain a downward and downward-facing posture with your shoulders.

  3. Lie down on the floor with your hands facing each other, elevate your elbows above your shoulders and your hands in toward each other.

  4. Then, raise your legs so that your knees are exactly above your hips, and repeat the process.

  5. Exhale and gently lower your right arm and left leg until they're hovering just over the surface of the floor.

  6. Take a breath and return your arms and legs to their initial positions.

  7. Then hold this posture for a certain period of time, which is typically between 1 and 10 seconds depending on your choice and your fitness level.

  8. This procedure should be repeated on the other side, using your left arm and right leg.

  9. This would count as 1 rep once completed, repeat for your desired number of repetitions.

4) Heel Taps

Heel-taps are an excellent abdominal workout for increasing the endurance and speed of your abdominal muscles, as well as your core strength.

They're particularly effective for targeting the oblique muscles.

The following are the primary muscles that have been targeted.

  • Rectus abdominis (the core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (the side abdominal muscles)

If you include heel taps into your exercise routine, you may notice an increase in your endurance and quickness.

heel taps

How to Do Heel Taps:

  1. Begin by laying on your back with your heels close to your glutes, as seen in the picture.

  2. Now raise your shoulders off the floor and extend your right hand to touch your right heel with your left hand.

  3. Repeat this by placing your left hand on your left heel and pressing down.

  4. That's one rep for you.

  5. Repeat for as many reps as you want.

5) The Plank

The plank is another another abdominal workout that improves general strength, endurance, and muscular growth.

One of the reasons it's on our list of the greatest abdominal exercises is because it uses a different method of muscle development than the other workouts.

The plank is an isometric workout, which means that you are not moving while your muscles are functioning - this results in a different process of muscular development than when you are lifting weights.

The primary muscles targeted are as follows.

  • Rectus abdominis (the core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (the side abdominal muscles)

  • Glutes (the major buttocks muscles)

Including the plank exercise in your routine will almost certainly improve your workouts.

plank exercise

How to Do the Plank:

  1. Get into the plank position by lying face down on the floor with your forearms and toes touching the ground.

  2. For the conventional plank, your elbows should be exactly beneath your shoulders and your forearms should be pointing straight forward. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and your gaze fixed on the ground.

  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and hold them. Maintain a straight line of rigidity throughout your body.

  4. Maintain this for your desired duration of the plank.

  5. When you're finished, carefully lower yourself to the ground.


A combination of abdominal exercises is usually best.

Using a variety of the above best abs exercises may be better than sticking to one exercise, this is because exercise variation is important for muscle growth.

Some abs exercises are better than others at targeting specific muscles, some also have different ways in which they build muscle, such as the plank.


Written by Billy White

billy white

Billy White is a qualified Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer. He is an aspiring bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, and health and fitness researcher.

He has multiple years of experience within the fitness, bodybuilding and health space. He is committed to providing the highest-quality information.


The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.

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