The Best Ab Exercise for Sexy Abs & A Functional Core
If you're looking for the best ab exercise for a strong core and lean flat abs then you've come to the right place but don't expect the same old crunches, leg raises, and stability ball ab crunches from fitness expert Jon Hinds creator of Power Wheel IIfeatured in the video below.
According to Jon "a recent independent study at UC Berkeley, found that the best ab exercises were ones performed with his very own Power Wheel II. In this UCB study, the Power Wheel was tested against the sit up, weighted crunches, hanging leg raises, angled sit ups, other types of ab devices and more!
Resistance was used with most other exercises and the Power Wheel still beat them all! The crazy part is the highest level Power Wheel exercises were not even tested. Exercises like Power Wheel Crawls (with weighted vest for the slightly crazy), and Power Wheel Plyo Jumps. These exercises are very high level and produce the most intense contraction of all."
Why Power Wheel Exercises Are The Best Ab Exercises Around!
Jon explains that "back in the day the ab crunch was thought to be the best ab exercise, then the hanging leg raise was next, a little better but still not the best. Next people began doing crunches on a stability ball, it’s a bit unstable but all in all, none of them are as efficient as the Power Wheel and some of its most effective exercises such as Roll-out, Crawls and Pike Ups and here's why:
the main point of doing any ab or core exercises, is to strengthen the midsection of the whole body. This is not done by a shortening of the core muscles thru a range of motion, but by making an incredibly strong static contraction. The better the ability of the core to quickly stabilize in the form of a static contraction, the stronger it is on all movements, reactions, and exercises.
Think of it this way, anything that you do that requires you to stop a force, be it catching a ball, a person who is trying to push you over or trying to pull a tree stump out of the ground, the core statically stabilizes in order to do the movement. So why would you train it to get stronger by doing any exercise that does not improve it’s static contractions? That is what people have been doing for years and it just makes no sense."
Below Jon explains the main problem with traditional core exercises:
"Crunches - supported by floor completely, stable, short lever, weak contractions, even on a stability ball it is still a weak exercise as you have to literally do hundreds of reps with the results of no gain in stability, because none was trained.
Sit ups - A bit better but very similar, supported, stable, a longer lever arm so it’s better there, good contraction, less reps to fatigue, but still not a lot of stability gained. I like it more than crunches by a long shot though:)
Hanging leg lifts - better yet as you can create a long lever arm, but here you get a ton of hip flexor work and for people who have tight hips (about 90% of all Americans:) this is not what you want to tighten even more. Similar to a laying leg lift, they definitely work ‘core’ stability, but can tighten the hip flexors a lot too."
Put the Power Wheel on your feet and try to crawl the whole length of the football field, all 100 yards without dropping on your knees. Watch the video of a 50 something mom and grandmother in Texas to see how.
Jon Hinds 4 Ab Exercise Guidelines for Killer Abs
"Best Ab Exercise Guideline #1: The LESS supported you are the MORE you must stabilize. Meaning the less area supporting your body (which can be from your whole body, hands, feet, head or your back/feet or butt on the floor or a stability ball or bench) means you MUST work more to right yourself while doing any movement or exercise.
The more unstable the movement, the harder it will be. This is true up to a point; if the movement is overly un-stable then it defeats the point. A perfect example of this is standing on a stability ball to improve stability. Now while this is a really challenging exercise. It is so unstable that it goes in the direction of being dangerous. Also, this does NOT mean, unstable and supported though, it simply means unstable:).
Many people think crunches on a stability ball, yes it’s unstable, but your supported. In the real world you would never be supported, nor is doing a crunch the optimal way of strengthening the ‘core’, so pass on that one.
Best Ab Exercise Guideline #2: The MORE you oppose gravity, the MORE you work your body. Meaning the more your body is extended directly against gravity (horizontally is best as that is direct opposition to gravity) the more challenge you have. The second part of opposing gravity is the longer lever arm you make the harder the movement. So the more you are lengthened or extended over gravity, the ground, the harder the exercise will be.
Best Ab Exercise Guideline #3: The MORE intense the contraction, the MORE efficient the exercise. Fewer reps, treat the ‘core’ like any other muscle group you train for strength, power or endurance. In other words you don't have to do millions of crunches to get a strong core and killer abs. The key is the intensity of the movement.
Best Ab Exercise Guideline #4: Use a Prone Position for More effective core work. Prone(face down), not supine (face up), as people have usually trained the core. In which case, they are supported and stable, this sounds nice and safe, but in reality, it is not what you want. In the real world people need the ability to react, stabilize and support themselves, and you can’t do that if you only train in a supported and stable environment."
Why I Started Doing More Prone Ab Exercises
I started doing more prone ab workout because of a kayaking trip to Lake Powell. That's me in the picture with tour guide Kyle of Kayak Powell. Kyle's been kayaking his entire life so it was tough keeping up with him but I was able to stay close to him thanks to the best ab exercises. If you want to build a strong core and flatten your abs fast be sure to do plenty of plank style ab work.