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The Best Abdominal Exercises for the Best Results

Most of us want the same thing when it comes to an abdominal workout: rock-hard, washboard, six-pack abs!

Whatever nickname you want to give your abs, most of us seek this outcome: We want to utilize the best abdominal exercises to give us the best results.

“You don’t need to do highly-intense workouts and strength training exercises to get sculpted abs,” says Sean Wells, a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and the fitness expert at BistroMD. “The best abdominal exercises are actually activities you can perform in the comfort of your own home. All you’ll need is a floor mat, and an exercise ball. You can also opt to use a pair of light dumbbells.”

Courtesy of our fitness expert, here are some of the best abdominal exercises you can do to get the results you are looking for.

The Best Abdominal Exercises1. Supported Side Plank

“Not only does a supported side plank help you develop the abs you want, but it also strengthens your thighs and arms,” says Sean.

For this abdominal exercise, you will need: a floor mat or an exercise ball (preferred), and a pair of light dumbbells (between 5-10 pounds each).

To start, place your left hand, palm down, firmly on the floor. Kneel and lean the left side of your torso on an exercise ball. Keep your left hand pressed firmly on the floor on the far side of the ball, and extend your legs.

Press the outside of your left foot into the floor, and lift your right leg to hip-height. While doing this, make sure your foot is in line with your hips and shoulders. Extend your right arm up toward the ceiling with or without the dumbbell.

Hold this position for about 60 seconds, or for as long as you can. Switch sides, then repeat. (if you don't have an exercise ball, you can modify this exercise for a more advanced workout. See photo.)

The Best Abdominal Exercises2. The Roll Up

“Another one of the best abdominal exercises you can do is the roll up,” says Sean. “This works your central abs, as well as your inner thighs.”

For this exercise, you’ll only need an exercise ball and a floor mat.

Start out by laying down on your floor mat with your knees bent and legs together, leaving your feet pressed firmly into the mat.

Hold the ball between your hands above your chest.

Curl your chin to your chest, and roll up while rounding the ball over your knees and reaching arms and ball out over legs.

Slowly roll back down, keeping the ball down in front of your chest with legs bent and together. Do about 6-8 reps, and then rest.

The Best Abdominal Exercises3. The Rolling Pike

“The rolling pike is another great abdominal exercise because it works your central abs, as well as your shoulders, and your glutes,” says Sean.

For this exercise, all you’ll need is an exercise ball.

Start in a plank position with the ball under your thighs, with your hands directly under your shoulders.

Lift your hips, and roll back under your shins without bending your knees. Hold in this position for a few seconds, then slowly return to your starting position. Do this exercise for about 6-8 reps. (This is exercise is bit more difficult to perform. If you think you may hurt yourself, use caution, or consult with your physician.)

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