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The Best Ab Exercises for Athletes

Build better abs with a combination of exercises


Updated May 16, 2014

blonde haired blue eyed woman doing crunch exercise on california beach
Adrianna Williams/Digital Vision/Getty Images
The best ab exercises for athletes don't focus exclusively on the abdominal muscles, but work the entire core. Athletes need a strong core foundation for powerful movements and specific ab exercises are only a small piece of the program. Here are some of the most effective exercises for strengthening and firming the abdominal muscles as well as building core stability.

If you are looking for a great ab workout, combine the following exercises to create a balanced core workout routine.

And don't forget, getting great abs takes more than ab exercise alone. It also takes proper nutrition and a well-rounded fitness routine.

Tips for Building an Effective Ab and Core Workout

Perform several (3-5) ab exercises 3-5 times a week. Start with exercises and repetitions that are comfortable for your fitness level and as you improve increase the number of repetitions. You do not need to do all the exercises; simply select those that work well for you and vary your routine over the months.

The Best Ab Exercises for Athletes

  1. Dragon Flag Advanced Core Exercise. Credited to martial arts master, Bruce Lee. the Dragon Flag, is arguably one of the more advanced bodyweight exercises you can do.
  2. Bicycle Crunch Exercise. This ab exercise generally ranks at the top of the list of best ab exercises if done properly.
  3. Captain's Chair Exercise. Another great one, but you need equipment (or creativity) for this one.
  4. Ab Crunch on an Exercise Ball. I bet you have an exercise ball at home.
  5. Single Leg Bridge Exercise. The best unknown core exercise.
  6. Vertical Leg Crunch. Ouch!
  7. Long Arm Crunch. Another version of a favorite.
  8. Reverse Crunch. Kick up the feet with the torso holding steady.
  9. Plank (Hover) Exercise . A basic from Yoga.
  10. Traditional (Basic) Abdominal Crunch
  11. Crossover Crunch. Good for the obliques!
  12. Seated Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball. Tough, but effective.
  13. Oblique Crunch. You know this one.
  14. Plank on a Balance Ball. Take the basic plank to a new level.
  15. Alternating Supermans. Don't forget to work the posterior chain.
  16. V-Sit Exercise. Double ouch!
  17. Oblique Twist with Medicine Ball

Do This: Quick Core Workout.
By combining some of the best core exercises performed one after another, you will get an effective core workout that is also great as a part of your warm ups and cool downs.

Related Video
Strengthen Abs and Core Muscles With Free Weights

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