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The 10 Best Abs Exercises

best abs exercises

Having a well-defined six-pack and strong core is not only aesthetic but also functional. Abs are one of the most crucial muscle groups in your body for your overall health and performance. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the 10 best abs exercises.

Best Abs Exercises:

  • Dragon Flag
  • Ab Rollout
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Hanging Corkscrews 
  • Ab Crunch
  • Plank
  • Side Plank
  • Side Plank With Oblique Twist
  • Russian Twist
  • Swiss Ball Ab Tucks

1. Dragon Flag

The authorship of this compound exercise is attributed to the renowned martial artist Bruce Lee. A dragon flag is a great way to create exceptionally strong, sculpted abs. The technique of movement is quite complex and will suit experienced athletes.


This workout is excellent for strengthening your core and developing a six-pack. Your core, upper body, hip flexors, and lower back muscles are all worked, as well as your shoulders and lower back.

You don’t need extra equipment to do this workout since it is a bodyweight movement. You can do it anywhere you want. Only your motivation is necessary to practice a dragon flag.

The dragon flag is an excellent pillar exercise for your abs training. It effectively enhances muscles, builds work capacity, and does not take much time.

How to do a dragon flag:

  • Lock your arms over your head. You may accomplish this on a bench by holding the edges
  • Raise your legs while keeping your body tight from shoulders to toes. Try to avoid bending your hips
  • Once elevated, carefully lower your legs with just your upper back and shoulder on the bench. Don’t cave in, lower your hips, or arch your back
  • Lower your body till it is slightly over the bench
  • Repeat as many times as possible

2. Ab Rollout

If you want to find an exercise that can push your abs to the next level, ab rollout might be a perfect choice. It’s a compound movement that loads muscles besides your abs, including the erector spinae, the latissimus dorsi, chest, and triceps.


It’s an intense exercise to sculpt blockier abs. The movements work the entire rectus abdominis. Because they target all four levels of our abdominals, ab rollers are a great all-around strength booster. It also boosts your athletic self-assurance by enhancing your overall balance and physical fitness.

The upper body, as well as your core, might benefit from using an ab roller. As you roll out and back in, you must utilize your whole body to maintain a straight spine. The lats, erector spinae, chest, and triceps are all working while you are exercising.

How to do ab rollout:

  • Load a barbell with a 10-pound plate on each side or prepare an ab-roller
  • Place your hands on the ab-roller underneath you and get yourself into a pushup position
  • Breath in and flex your core. Begin to roll the barbell forward. Roll it as far as you can without arching your lower back. If it’s hard for you to control this movement phase, use a wall or some solid structure as a stopping point
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat

3. Hanging Leg Raises

Leg raises are one of the best movements to engage the entire abs muscles and place a bit more emphasis on the lower abs. You can do it both on a dip station or hanging on a bar.


The exercise aids in building stronger abs, developing stability and strength, the reduction of belly fat, and general body toning.

The weight of your legs is used as resistance here. You can make the exercise more challenging by holding a dumbbell with your legs as you become stronger.

As your legs and hips move in tandem throughout the activity, leg lifts also build hip strength and flexibility. 

This exercise can be done almost anywhere as long as you have a stable place to hang from.

How to do hanging leg raises:

  • Grab the pullup bar with an overhand grip and hang on it
  • Start lifting your legs up as far as you can. When performing this movement, try to curl your legs up. You can do it by making sure that your butt is visible once you bring your legs up
  • Go back to the beginning. Take your time and proceed slowly, controlling the movement and feeling the muscle tension

4. Hanging Corkscrews

Hanging corkscrews is a more challenging alternative to corkscrews mat exercise. It loads your abs and obliques as you twist the legs while hanging on a bar.


The corkscrew is an abdominal exercise that focuses on strengthening the obliques. So if you want to make your side ab muscles firmer, this move is a perfect choice.

This exercise will strengthen your core muscles which is why it is a practice that works as back pain prevention.

Because it requires you to squeeze your legs together and keep them that way, it also works the adductor muscles found on the inner thighs.

How to do hanging corkscrews:

  • Make sure you keep your legs and feet straight when hanging from the bar. Grip the bar with your overhand and your palms facing away from you. Shoulder-width apart is the ideal distance for your hands
  • Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your calves perpendicular to the floor. This is where the movement gets started
  • Rotate your legs to the other side of your arc. You should feel a powerful tension in the lower abdomen as you move your legs around
  • Make the same move to another way and repeat. Continue until you’ve completed all of the repetitions.

5. Ab Crunch

Abdominal crunches are probably the most popular abs exercise in the world. They target primarily your upper abdominal muscles.


Ab crunches help to build strong abdominal muscles. Because of the strong muscle contraction, this exercise is very popular for a good reason.

This exercise is also great because you don’t need any extra equipment to do it. You just need a floor and some kind of a mat or a pillow to put under your lower back.

Abdominal crunches are also a good option for burning calories. These workouts will help you gain muscle mass and burn fat more efficiently. In addition, the muscles will become denser.

How to do an ab crunch:

There are several variations of this exercise. We are going to talk about the easiest one, which is a floor ab crunch.

  • Get on the floor and lay on your back. Bend your knees but make sure that your feet stay on the floor
  • Put your hands behind your head. Maintain a neutral spine
  • Breathe out and come up. Arch your back a bit to extend your abs and load them better. Keep your head, and neck relaxed
  • Come back to the starting position

6. Plank

Planks are a great core exercise that will help you improve your stability and prevent lower back pain.


It’s a compound movement that works your whole body, including the arms, legs, and abs muscles. So it saves your time and brings you desired results.

Strengthening your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs leads to excellent posture because all these muscles contribute to keeping your shoulders back.

The exercise is back-friendly. The plank isn’t hard on your back as most crunches are. That’s why athletes with back pain problems often prefer this move.

Plank is available for everyone. You don’t need to be an advanced athlete or have expensive equipment to practice it. The progress is easy, too. You just need to stay in plank longer for increased load.

How to do a plank:

  • Lift your body on your elbows and toes while maintaining your back straight
  • Hold the position by contracting your core muscles
  • Squeeze your abs, and flex your quadriceps and glutes as hard as possible to keep the whole body in line
  • Hold this position for a desired set of time. Try to hold it for at least 1 minute

7. Side Plank

Side planks are very similar to regular planks except that they target your side abs.


The side plank works your obliques as well as the deep spinal stabilizing muscle called quadratus lumborum. Maintaining the strength of this muscle lessens your chance of suffering a back injury.

This exercise does a fantastic job of strengthening your core and also improves your ability to maintain a steady center of gravity.

Side plank will help you lose weight. Planks strengthen the transversus abdominus, which will help you get a flat stomach and a slim waistline.

How to do a side plank:

  • Begin the exercise lying on your side. Your legs should be straight with your feet together
  • Prop yourself on the elbow, and put another arm on your waist. The elbow should be beneath the shoulder. It’s best if the bottom of your pinky finger is resting on the ground
  • Breathe out and tighten your abdominals while maintaining a neutral neck position
  • Extend your elbow to hold the weight of your upper body. Try to keep your whole body in a straight line
  • Hold this position for a desired period of time. Then, switch sides, and repeat

If you are a beginner and can’t do a plank with straight legs, you can do this exercise with your knees bent.

8. Side Plank With Oblique Twist

The side plank with an oblique twist is a harder progression of a side plank. Also, the twisting plank will work your shoulders, glutes, quads, and your core. It’s an intermediate-level exercise.


The obliques work much harder while doing a twisting plank than when doing a standard plank. It means twisting planks is a chance to bring the strength of your abs to another level.

It loads your obliques and transverse abdominals, making your workout more effective. The move is perfect for those who want a flat belly and an hourglass figure. It’s also great for athletes as it will help you build a stronger core.

Body rotations during the exercise improve your spine flexibility, which is vital for a healthy and active life.

How to do a side plank with an oblique twist:

  • Get in the regular side plank position. Keep the elbow under your shoulder, feet stacked, and lift your hips
  • Put another hand behind your head
  • Bend down and try to connect one of your elbows to the other
  • Then, return to the plank position and repeat for the desired number of reps
  • Make sure that you also do the exercise for the other side of your body

9. Russian Twist

Russian twist activates obliques, lower and upper abs. The twisting movement also works great as a mobility drill for your lower back.


The technique is pretty simple, which makes it available for any fitness level. Beginners can use it to progress in more challenging moves. Advanced athletes may use it as a finisher or add it to their ab routine.

This exercise is popular among sportsmen since it helps with rotation movement development. Many other workouts involve this skill so it will be helpful for most gym-goers.

Practicing the Russian twist regularly will help you burn calories, improve your figure, decrease belly fat, and make your balance and posture better.

How to do a Russian twist:

  • Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your legs at a 90-degree angle
  • Tilt backward and lift your legs a bit off the floor
  • Do twists at both sides with your upper body. Twist your whole torso and not just move your arms from side to side
  • Keep your core flexed, and breathe out as you go from side to side
  • To make the exercise more challenging, you can practice it with a dumbbell or a plate in your hands

10. Swiss Ball Ab Tucks

This exercise works a wide range of muscles simultaneously, including the abs, lower back, legs, and arms. Improved posture and coordination are additional swiss ball ab tucks’ advantages.


The body’s response to the ball instability is to maintain balance, which in turn causes the core muscles to be more active. That’s why swiss ball ab tucks are an intense and effective workout.

Improving your posture is a nice side benefit of this exercise as it will help you improve your core stability which will result in preventing muscle imbalances in your lower back area.

It’s also possible to improve your overall flexibility, stability, and coordination with this exercise. This exercise can add additional variety to your routine especially if you haven’t done it before.

How to do swiss ball ab tucks:

  • Get on your fours and put your legs on the ball. Make sure you have a pretty wide foot stance
  • Maintain your weight in the heels of your palms, so you don’t hurt your wrists. Keep your back flat and hips – about shoulder-length apart
  • Pull your knees towards your chest, using your abdominal muscles
  • Extend your legs, returning to the starting position

Anatomy Of Abs Area

anatomy of the abs

You don’t need to know the anatomy of the human body to train. However, basic knowledge is still necessary to understand what you are working on. If you get which muscle is working during the exercise, it will be easier to adjust the technique and thus make the workouts more effective. Here is what you need to know.

There are five main muscles in the abs area: 

Pyramidalis – this little, triangular muscle is located on the back of the thigh. It’s in your pelvis, at a very low level. 

Rectus abdominus is the most prominent ab muscle. It runs from your ribs to the front of your pelvis along the center of your abdomen. Rectus abdominis maintain your internal organs in place. Because it aids in spinal flexion, the muscle reduces the distance between your pelvis and ribs. When you bend your knees to the side, you’ll see that this muscle is also working hard to keep your spine in place.

External obliques – one on either side of the rectus abdominis. These muscles are the biggest of the flat ones and sit at the bottom of the skeletal hierarchy. They work in tandem with the internal obliques to stabilize the gut. Your torso rotates and bends to the side due to these muscles’ moves.

Internal obliques – two muscles located inside your hip bones. Similar to the external obliques, they flow from the sides of the rectus abdominis toward the center of the body. Oblique fibers on one side align with those on the other, forming a symmetrical pattern.

The transversus abdominis is the deepest of the flat muscles, positioned at the bottom of the stack. While playing an essential function in protecting the internal organs, it also stabilizes the torso.

Erector spinae isn’t 100% ab muscle, but it’s connected to them. For a completely well-built physique, the abdominal and back muscles must be in perfect harmony with each other. Abdominal strength is impossible unless you have a healthy back. The erector spinae consists of the iliocostalis and longissimus. The muscles in the back begin at the head base and go to the pelvis, where they join.

In addition to securing your organs, all abdominal muscles also act as a support system for your body’s movements.

How Often Should You Train Your Abs 

Abs are much like any other muscle in your body. Between sets of the exercise, they need a break. Focus on targeting your core two to four times per week to gain benefits and avoid overtraining. Don’t limit yourself to crunches for your core exercises. Instead, utilize various movements. If most of your workout aims to improve maximum strength and power, your core routines should be like that as well. 

The greatest way to train the core is to gradually overload it, just as you would any other muscle. Adding a few additional minutes to your planks at the end of each session is a good choice. Make an effort and focus on your breath. With the core, it’s crucial to breathe correctly to get the best results (inhale on eccentric and exhale on concentric). Ab muscles loading is made more difficult by an overly inflated chest or belly.

To sum it up, training more often is a proven technique to focus on a body part that’s lagging or simply to grow a body part to its fullest potential. Still, even during the most intense training sessions, each muscle needs at least 24 hours of rest. The most common frequency for weight training is four times a week, which should be the case for abdominal exercises. Consider your training history and current volume when determining how frequently you should work out your core.


Many individuals prioritize core training as a critical component of their workout plans for three key reasons. The first thing is the “ripped” core’s visual appeal. The second one is the advantages of sports in terms of performance. Last but not least, the positives to one’s posture, pelvic alignment, and back health.

In other words, developed abdominal muscles not only make your figure more beautiful but also increase your strength and stamina. With strong abs, you’ll be able to enhance your performance in different lift exercises. It’s crucial to practice the appropriate workouts for your abs since they need as much time and care as any other muscle group in your body. We hope that our list and instructions will help you make your fitness plan and achieve your athletic goals.