Swiss balls are, in my opinion, the single most effective piece of fitness equipment for carving out a stellar set of abs. If you’re not already a user, get on it ASAP — you’re leaving an incredible amount of ab growth on the table.
The beauty of the Swiss ball is that it allows the abs to hyperextend beyond 180 degrees, which increases range of motion, creates a big STRETCHHHHH, emphasizes deliberate abdominal contraction, and shocks the core into turbocharged growth. It also takes a lot of strain off of the neck and lower back, instead displacing it dead center on your six-pack-to-be.
The following 8 core exercises are a few of my all-time favorites. Incorporate them individually into your existing ab workout or combine all 8 for one comprehensive abs circuit. Collectively, they’ll blast EVERYTHING from an assortment of different angles — including the upper and lower abs, obliques, and lower back — in under 15 minutes.
1. Swiss Ball Ab Crunch
Main Target: Rectus Abdominis (six-pack muscles)
3 sets, 20 reps
With your lower-middle back firmly against the top of a Swiss ball and your hands behind your head (without grabbing it), slowly extend backwards beyond 180º (A) and then powerfully crunch upwards, holding the contraction for 1 second (B). The movement should be slow and deliberate, with your back remaining in contact with the ball throughout.
Once your abs get stronger, increase the difficulty by holding a medicine ball or dumbbell behind your head and/or increase the number of reps.
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