In recent years, a host of infomercial products and exercise videos have preyed on people’s desire for the ultimate “six pack”. And many avid exercisers are quick to share their own favourites for abdominal success. But what is the best, most efficient route to that washboard look?

1) Bicycle Abs     2) Captains Chair   3) Fitball Crunch  4) Vertical leg Crunch        5)  Reverse Crunch

According to ACE Fitness Matters, a recent study conducted by the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University reveals a unique look at 13 of the most common abdominal exercises, ranking them best to worst.

After extensive data collection and analysis, Dr. Francis and his researchers found that exercises that require constant abdominal stabilization, as well as body rotation, generated the most muscle activity in the obliques.  Topping the list of the most effective exercises was the bicycle manoeuvre, followed closely by the second ranked, captain’s chair. As for home exercise equipment, crunches on an exercise ball ranked highest—coming in third overall.

Although crunches on an exercise ball generated less activity in the oblique’s and rectus abdominus than the top two exercises, the exercise also generated significantly less activity in the rectus femoris—making it, arguably, the best overall exercise of the lot.

For best results, Dr. Francis recommends choosing several of the exercises that landed in the top-third of the list and try doing a five-minute exercise session daily. If an exercise is uncomfortable or doesn’t feel right, try another one. This will help train different muscles and combat boredom.

No matter which exercises you choose, take the time to train and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Strong abs help with good posture alleviate lower back pain and are essential for long-term health and well-being.

This study was conducted by Peter Francis, Ph.D., and Jennifer Davis, M.A., at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab. The study was not supported or funded in any way by equipment manufacturers.

~ by admin on January 1, 2017.

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