Most people don’t realize that the front of your abs, also known as the rectus abdominis, is all one muscle. There actually aren’t different distinctions between upper abs and lower abs. When you do ab exercises, you’ll be activating the whole muscle, there’s no way to separate between the two.
That said, it is important to know that working your abs from different angles and with different movements will activate more muscle fibers in your six pack. This will give your abs a much more thorough workout, and help you build more strength, faster.
Because of this, the best way to get a great ab workout is to do movements that concentrate more on the upper part of your abs as well as ones that concentrate on the lower part of your abdominals.
Let’s look at 3 ab exercises that will give you a killer upper abdominal workout:
1. Stability ball ab crunches – Grab yourself a small medicine ball and stabilize yourself on your exercise ball with your lower back in contact with the ball. Hold the medicine ball above your shoulders. Now crunch your upper body up trying to keep the medicine ball right above your shoulders and pushing it to the ceiling. Go as far as you can, then return.
2. Bench crunches – Instead of the usual crunches with your feet on the ground, try this variation, it’s much easier on your back. Lay with your back on the ground and your feet up on a bench (your lower legs should be parallel with the floor and your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor).
Keep your arms out with your hands by your ears and crunch your upper body up to your knees and hold it for 1 or 2 sec. Be sure to use good form and never tug on your head to help yourself do the crunch.
3. Weighted cable rope crunches – These are a great variation because you can easily add weight to match your fitness level. Start by kneeling in front of a cable machine, with the rope attachment connected. Be sure you are a few feet back so you don’t hit the machine when you do the exercise.
Now crunch your upper body towards your legs, really focusing on your ab muscles and trying to fold your body in half. When you go up, don’t go so far that you arch your back. Go up just enough to straighten your back and then arch it again as you crunch down.
Use 1 or more of these 3 upper ab exercises as part of your overall ab workout. Remember, working your abs endlessly is not an effective way to get a six pack. You need to focus on shedding your body fat so those ab muscles will show through!
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