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5 Best Ab Workouts for Men to Get a Stronger Core

5 best Ab workouts for men (Image via Pexels/Irina Petrichei)
5 best Ab workouts for men (Image via Pexels/Irina Petrichei)

Abs or the core are important for more than looking good shirtless, or being able to sport a tight t-shirt.

The abdominal muscles are the frontal muscles of what we call our core. Our core consists of all the muscles in our mid-section, including the abdominals, the internal and external obliques, the back extensors, and hip muscles. That’s almost the entire mid-section.

If you’re new to working out, you can check out our step-by-step instructions on the best core workouts for beginners.


5 best workouts for a stronger core

If you are an intermediate exerciser, these should be ideal for you to perform. These exercises are easy to follow and leave a burn after.

1) Bird - Dog

The bird-dog is an exercise that mimics the movements of the dead bug exercise. However, your body is on your hands and knees so you are looking at the ground instead.

• Start by getting on your hands and knees. You need to get your back straight by bracing your core, ensuring your arms and legs are at 90-degree angles to your body.

• Inhale as you raise your right arm and straighten it in front of you. Simultaneously, straighten your left leg out behind you. Allow your fingers and toes to point in the opposite directions.

• Exhale as you bend both limbs in towards your body and return them to the starting position.

• Repeat this movement with your left arm and right leg. Continue the pattern until you have completed 8 to 10 reps on each side.

Here’s a video to help you out:

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Helpful hints:

• You can perform this move in front of a mirror to ensure your legs and arms are at an appropriate angle and are held straight throughout.

• Ensure your hips aren’t sagging while performing this movement. Keep your core muscles engaged.

• Make sure you are looking towards the floor with your neck in a neutral position to avoid straining it.

• Take deep breaths in as you extend, and exhale as you return to the starting position during this exercise. This will keep the core muscles stable.


2) V-Ups

The V-up is a dynamic movement that calls for the full activation of your abs.

• Start by lying on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you and your arms straight out above your head. Hold your hands and feet an inch or two above the ground. Take a breath in.

• Upon exhalation, lift your upper body and legs off the ground, making sure your arms and legs are straight. Lift them to the highest point you can make them meet.

• With a reduced tempo, bring your legs slowly back to the ground as your arms also circle back over your head and you return your head and spine to the ground too.

• Repeat this move for 10 to 15 reps.

Sounds a little tricky, but this demo should give you a better idea:

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Helpful hints:

• You can perform this move in front of a mirror to ensure your legs and arms are at the appropriate angle and are straight throughout.

• If your lower back starts to hurt, stop. You may attempt it again after adequate rest.

• Make sure you are looking up at the ceiling to avoid straining your neck.

• Take deep breaths in and out as you extend and lift your legs and arms during this exercise. This will keep the core muscles stable.


3) Side plank with twist

The side plank is brilliant as an isometric hold in itself, but integrating a twist in the mix can add a lot more tension to your obliques.

• Start by lying on your right side. Prop yourself up on your right elbow and keep it in the same line as your shoulder. Straighten your body by bringing your hips in line with your body on the plane. Stack your feet one on top of the other.

• Once your body is in a straight plane and is stable, raise your left arm up toward the ceiling. Point your fingers upwards and ensure they're in the same line as the right elbow and shoulder. This will also stack your left shoulder in the same line. Take a breath in.

• Keeping your core tight, exhale and twist your upper body and loop your arm through the gap between your body and the ground. Do not let it touch the floor.

• As you inhale, twist your shoulders back and loop your arm out. Lift it up to the starting position, stacked above your shoulders.

• Repeat this movement for 8 to 12 reps on each side.

Watch this video before you give it a spin:

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Helpful hints:

• You can perform this move in front of a mirror to ensure your legs and arms are at appropriate angles and are held straight throughout.

• Ensure your hips aren’t sagging while performing this movement. Keep your core muscles engaged.

• Make sure you are looking straight with your neck in a neutral position to avoid straining it.

• Make sure to keep your breathing slow and regular. This will help to control movement better and help with stabilizing core muscles.


4) Russian twists

Speculated to have been developed as a training exercise for Russian soldiers, the Russian twist is an effective exercise that will require you to maintain a seat and use your core strength to twist from one side to the other.

• Start by taking a seat on the ground with your legs bent in front of you. Now, lean back slightly and contract your core. Slowly lift your feet off the ground and balance yourself on your pelvic muscles. You can adjust your legs and back to a comfortable position. The lower they are, the harder this gets.

• Join your hands together in front of your chest. Maintaining the balance, twist your upper body to the left, moving your hands, and in turn, your shoulders with you. Then twist to the other side.

• Continue this movement for 10 to 12 reps on each side.

Check this out to get the full picture:

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Helpful hints:

• You can perform this move in front of a mirror to ensure your back does not arch or your shoulders do not collapse. Bracing your core will help align them.

• You can try holding a medicine ball or a kettlebell while performing this exercise as it may help with stabilizing yourself.

• Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth as you do this exercise. This will keep the core muscles stable.

• Keep your neck in a neutral position to avoid straining it.

• If you feel any pain in your lower back, stop. You may attempt it again after adequate rest.


5) Hanging leg raises

This one may be a bit more challenging, given that the center of gravity has shifted and you are now required to raise your legs from an angle where your body is upright. A pull up bar or a pair of Olympic Rings would be required.

• Start by grabbing on to the bar and hanging by your hands. Keep your core muscles tight to avoid swaying and your legs from flailing around. Take a breath in.

• Keepyour legs straight and bring them up to waist-level while exhaling. Maintain a 90-degree angle between your legs and torso even as they come up so your feet are in the same line as your hips. Exhale as your knees come up.

• Bring your legs down to the starting position. Keep your core tight as you do this so you don’t end up swinging backwards.

• Repeat this move for 10 to 15 reps for an effective workout.

If it sounds a little intimidating, you can watch this video:

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Helpful hints:

• You can perform this move in front of a mirror to ensure your legs are at the appropriate angles and are straight throughout.

• You may bend your legs slightly at the knees if you are a beginner to this move.

• If your hands begin to slip off the bar, stop. You may attempt it again after adequate rest.

• Make sure you are looking straight ahead to avoid straining your neck.

• Ensure you breathe regularly and deepy throughout the exercise. This will ensure you do not tire yourself out to quickly and complete the workout to its complete potential.


Photo via Unsplash/Lorenzo Fattò Offidani
Photo via Unsplash/Lorenzo Fattò Offidani

While these ab exercises offer great ways to make your core stronger and are even more generous on physical appeal, always remember that abs are created in the kitchen.

To ensure that you don't get multiple setbacks in your goal to get abs, keep your eating habits on track if you’re really looking to get a chiseled six-pack. While it is easier said than done, consistency is important, and can very help make sure that you improve your core muscles and acquire abs.

Poll : Why do you train your core?

I want to get stronger.

I want to look ripped.

56 votes

Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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