(1) Squat- A leg exercise made the top 10 list for abs. Anyone who has ever pushed their potential in the squat knows exactly why! Sure, squat variations work the legs and lower back, but they also crush the abs. Both front and back squats force your abs and spinal erectors to work overtime to maintain a neutral, upright position. If both were not firing at high rates, you would fold under the weight or drop in a split second. Oh, and forget what you heard about standing on a BOSU ball to increase the work of your stabilizers. Research has shown that if you just go heavy with your squats on the floor, you will get all the ab stimulus you want.
Regularly implement both back and front squats into your programme. To keep it from becoming mundane, you can rotate through them in four-week waves or alternate weeks between back and fronts. It is best to do your focused ab training on a day after your heavy training days for the week. The last thing you want is residual soreness that forces you to decrease the weight on the bar.
(2) Decline-bench crunch with medicine ball- Decline-bench crunches amp up the challenge by increasing the range of motion over standard crunches, and you can dial up the degree of difficulty by adjusting the angle of the bench. Adding a medicine ball or weight plate against your chest adds a further level of customizable resistance. This also allows you to manipulate where you want to fail: low, medium or high reps.
But you can still go wrong. Because your feet are hooked, it is all too easy to pull through your thighs. Nor do you want to go all the way down to rest on the bench between reps, stay well of it. If you are not felling a wicked burn, drop all the weight, put your hands on your belly, and really focused on the contraction at a slower pace. You can also introduce a crossbody movement, angling your elbow to the opposite side thigh, to better engage the obliques.
(3) Cable Pallof press- This increasingly popular movement trains your abs to do what they are supposed to do stabilize your skeleton. Pallof presses serve as an anti-rotation movement, meaning the body is actively fighting rotation throughout the motion. By utilizing exercises like this, you can increase core stability in various planes of movement and reduce the likelihood of injury.
There are many ways you can do this move, even including a Pallof press with rotation, but most start at a cable stack with a D-handle just below shoulder height. Grab the handle in two hands, take 4-5 steps away from the pulley, and turn so that your side is facing the plate stack. Without rotation at the hips, press the d-handle straight out, and return back to center, all the while, you will fight against turning towards the pulley. Be sure to maintain a neutral spine and keep your shoulder down during the entire pressing motion.