15 Staple Core Exercises and Ab Exercises

By / 24 Oct, 2013 / In Ab Exercises

brenda wallacePosted by

Pull ups are just one component of an overall fitness program. While we’re particularly fond of the pull up, core exercises are vital also. A strong core is one of the leading indicators for overall quality of life. A strong core gives you excellent posture and provides a strong base for all your daily activities. Plus, a strong core is necessary for excellent pull up form and advanced exercise like L-sits.
Mix these exercises into your routine and see if they help your pull ups.

1. Crunches

People who can do advanced ab work might poo-poo the basic crunch, but many people need this exercise to get the basic strength to do more advanced exercises. Here’s info from Coach Nicole from SparkPeople on how to do this basic exercise (start to 2:12 in).

2. Bicycles

Everyone wants a fast workout, right? Bicycles are an excellent way to work your abdominals and your obliques at the same time. Josh Schlottman will show you how it’s done.

3. Reverse Crunch

Strangely enough, the reverse crunch is much more of a workout than a standard one. Kelsey Lee from XHIT will demonstrate.

4. Scissors

Scissors are a great way for working out the lower abdominal region. Here’s Davey Wavey of Davey Wavey Fitness showing how to do these.

5. Seated Knee Tuck

If you find yourself in front of a desk most of the day, here’s an ab exercise you can do from a seated position. Natalie Jill from Livestrong.com will show you how to perform seated knee tucks.

How+to+Do+a+Seated+Knee+Tuck — powered by LIVESTRONG.COM

6. Double leg raises

Yoga has a lot of core –building exercises. Here’s an asana for you to try to tone the lower abdomen, as demonstrated by Seem a Sondhi.

7. Hanging Knee Raises

Of course we couldn’t let slide any ab exercises that involve a pull up bar! Doing ab exercises while hanging from a bar is definitely an intermediate to advanced exercise. First make sure you can hang from a bar comfortably then try these hanging knee raises as shown by Nick Nilsson.

8. Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are excellent as both a warm up and a cool down exercise for your abs. Scott Herman shows great form in the video below.

9. Front Plank

The front plank is a classic abdominal exercise that anyone can find a variant for. If you can’t hold the normal position, do them on your knees or on all fours. Here’s John Sifferman going through a variety of plank exercises.

10. Side Plank

One of the best oblique exercises out there. How long can you hold it with good form? KodjoHounnake shows you how it’s done.

11. Sky Reachers

Here’s one that will target your entire front. If you can do double leg raises, try this for some extra fun. Andy McDermo tt demonstrates this fun exercise in this short clip.

12. Side Crunches

Side crunches are used to target the obliques directly. These are the abdominal muscles that run along the sides of the central six-pack. Rob Riches shows you the basics.

3. Swiss Ball Crunches

If you have access to a Swiss Ball, you can do crunches on top of one. It’s far more difficult (and effective) than doing them on the floor! Ridgeline Fitness has some good tips on getting started with these.

14. Bird Dogs

This exercise is sometimes prescribed by physical therapists and chiropractors for people with lower-back problems. It helps both the back and the abs. Check it out in this video from BuiltLean.

15. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers might seem like a leg exercise, but if you have good form they’re really a good way to blast your core. Give them a try by following along with Bloom to Fit.