Best Abdominal Exercises And Ab Engagement


As you strive to build muscle fast and burn off the excess body fat, one key area of focus you likely have are your abdominal muscles.

How to get 6 pack abs…

That’s what you’re going for. Or, maybe you aren’t looking to get that full on defined midsection and you’d settle for just sustaining flat abs to look better in whatever you wear.

Regardless of your own personal goal set, there are some key things that you need to know about getting to this end objective.

In order to maximize your progress, you’ll want to keep your abs as engaged as possible throughout each workout you do, stimulating them even before you get to your ab movements themselves.

While it’s great to be able to work your abs hard at the end of your workout, if you can work them hard during the workout, much of the work will already be done for you.

Remember that if your exercises are done properly, your ab muscles will be contracting throughout each move you make. As they are a primary stabilization muscle, they need to be working in order to keep your body in the upright position and balanced over your feet.

Therefore, anything you can do to destabilize the body is going to make those abs works even harder than they already were and that is how you will begin to see the progress that you’re looking for.

So all of this said, let’s walk you through a few key changes to make with your workout program and also introduce a few new exercises you may not be doing already but should.


Best Way To Get Abs By Doing The Renegade Row

The first excellent exercise to add to your routine to get better ab engagement is the renegade row.

With this move, you’re going to get down as if you were doing a plank position, placing two dumbbells down on the floor just beneath your shoulders.

The legs should be extended back behind you, body flat in a straight, but diagonal line.

From there, simply pick one dumbbell up and row it straight up and back as if you were doing a single arm row.

Note that the supportive arm should stay clenched onto the dumbbell on the ground beneath you.  Once you perform all the reps with that side, switch sides and repeat to the other.

Since your balance will be slightly off while doing this move, you should instantly feel those core muscles contracting.

Note that if at any point during this movement you feel like your hips are dropping and your core is loosening up, come out of the exercise entirely until you can carry on using proper form. Just like in the plank, if you use poor form while doing this, it will put you at a high risk for developing lower back pain.  It’s even worse with this exercise compared to the plank due to the fact that you are also now hoisting a weight load.


How To Get Six Pack Abs By Doing The Chest Fly On The Exercise Ball

Next up you have the chest fly on the exercise ball. Since the bench press is your primary heavy-weight chest builder, you want to keep this one on the stable surface of a flat bench.  Destabilizing yourself here and then also trying to lift a maximum weight load would get very dangerous, very fast.

Not a smart move.

Instead, do the isolation exercise – chest fly’s, which you don’t need to lift as heavy for, on top of the exercise ball.  Since the ball is again, that unstable surface, it’s going to force you to work harder as you execute this movement.

The abs will stay contracted and you’ll be seeing excellent progress.


Best Way To Get Abs With The Single Leg Split Squats

Moving along, the next great exercise to do if you want to hit your core muscles through destabilizing the body is the single leg split squat.  This movement is ideal since not only will you still be able to lift a heavy weight load since you can place a barbell behind your back, but in addition to that, you’ll have to recruit those abs to stay balanced on the single leg supporting the body.

Single leg split squats are excellent for working the glute muscles, so in addition to hitting the core, you’ll see great lower body strengthening results as well.

Make sure that you work each side equally as you go about the movement to avoid any muscle imbalances as you perform the exercise.

Push-Ups On An Exercise Ball For Getting A Six Pack

If you want a move that will not only hit the abs overtime, but also really provide quite the challenge for your chest as well, the push-up with the hands on the exercise ball will do just that.

These are going to require utmost balance, therefore you will immediately feel your core muscles engaging the minute you move into the exercise.  The closer you place your hands together on the ball, the greater you’ll stimulate those abs.

If that gets too easy, place the feet up on an exercise ball too for the ultimate challenge.

So there you have four different exercises, each of which will require more core engagement than the regular move you may have already been doing in your workout program.

Looking for little ways to make the core work harder through decreasing your stability and base of support can really add up.  The idea is that by the time you are finished doing your workout session, your core muscles will be so tired that when you go to do the actual core exercises you have planned, you really finish them off, bringing them to a point of full fatigue.

This means you’ll also have to spend far less time total doing those ab exercises since they will already be feeling the effects from your main workout exercises.

One thing you want to note that you do not want to do however as you go about making these small adjustments in your program is destabilizing yourself whenever you’re aiming to lift maximally. We touched upon this point when we talked about doing the chest fly’s on the exercise ball, but always keep it in mind.

For instance, doing heavy-loaded barbell squats while standing on the bosu ball is a very bad idea. While sure, it destabilizes you, it also puts you at great risk for rolling an ankle or twisting a knee joint.

With any maximally heavy lift, keep yourself stabilized. Then look for ways to destabilize the body when doing your lighter, more isolated movements or body weight exercises.



And as always, make sure that you are paying attention to your diet as you do this as well.  As the saying goes, ‘abs are made the kitchen’. While you can build your ab muscles up doing these exercises, making it more likely you will see that core definition, if you still have a thick layer of fat covering your abs, you’ll never be seeing the results that you’re going for.

Eat right, exercise hard, and stay committed. Do this and success will be yours.

-Terry Asher

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Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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Best Abdominal Exercises And Ab Engagement
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Best Abdominal Exercises And Ab Engagement
As you strive to build muscle fast and burn off the excess body fat, one key area of focus you likely have are your abdominal muscles.
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Gym Junkies
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