10 Best Ab Workout Exercises for Building Muscle

There are numerous ab workout exercises available, but determining which one is best for you can be as simple as ABC.

Abdominal exercises are a type of strength training that focuses on your stomach muscles, or “abs”. They are part of your core muscles that help to support you and keep you moving during daily activities and help to keep your pelvis and spine stable.

If you want the strongest, firmest abs, choose exercises that target all of the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, and lower back. This will also help you to have better balance and posture and do all of your favorite hobbies while avoiding injury.

Ab Workout for Building Muscle 

  • Planking

Planking will strengthen your abdominal muscles. It can help to strengthen your arms while also keeping your wrists supple and healthy. It will also help improve your upper back and neck posture.

  • Place your hands directly beneath your shoulders on the floor.
  • Then extend your legs behind you to about hip width.
  • Tuck your tailbone in and engage your core, including your buttocks.
  • Hold for a predetermined amount of time or for as long as you can.


  • Side Plank

Side planks are an excellent way to burn calories while also toning your abs.

  • There are several ways to perform the side plank, but they all serve the same purpose.
  • Place one forearm on the floor and brace and support your weight with it. 
  • You can put your other arm to your ear like you’re on the phone. 
  • Your foot on the same side should be on its side, supporting your legs. 
  • Your legs should be evenly stacked, with your hips perpendicular to the ground. 
  • Maintain a neutral spine and tense your obliques. 
  • After the allotted time (60 seconds is fine), switch sides and place the side plank on the opposite side.
  • Russian Twist

The Russian Twist is a well-known core exercise for increasing oblique strength and definition. The exercise, which is usually done with a medicine ball, involves rotating your torso from side to side while sitting up with your feet off the ground.

  • As you lift your feet off the ground, keep your knees bent and root into your sitting bones.
  • Make a V shape with your torso and thighs at a 45-degree angle from the floor. 
  • Then, clasp your hands together and extend your arms in front of you.
  • Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are a well-known core strengthening exercise and are suitable for people of all fitness levels. This is an excellent move for strengthening your obliques and deep abs. It improves abdominal and lower back strength and targets several muscles in the body’s core. 

  • Place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers, and lie face up on your mat.
  • Bring your knees into your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the floor without straining your neck.
  • As you straighten the other leg, rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
  • Change sides, bringing the left elbow up to the right knee.
  • Continue pedaling on alternate sides for 1 to 3 sets of 12-16 reps.
  • Squat

Squats are regarded as an essential exercise for increasing the strength and size of the lower body muscles while also developing core strength.

  • Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • As you bring your hips into a sitting position, keep your chest up.
  • While doing this, you should put your weight on your heels.
  • Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or nearly so to the floor.
  • The squat should be felt in your thighs and glutes.
  • Stop with your knees over, but not past, your toes.
  • Exhale and return to the starting position.
  • Leg Raises

Leg raises are a classic six-pack builder that also tests your grip strength and total-body control. This exercise is easier after you’ve warmed up your hamstrings because flexibility in your hamstrings will help you increase your range of motion.

  • Lift yourself off the ground by using an overhand grip on a pullup bar. 
  • Maintaining a neutral spine, hinge at the hips and lift your legs until they are parallel with the floor.
  • Make an effort to keep them as straight as possible. Lower your legs slowly again.
  • That makes one repetition.


  • Cable Crunches

The cable crunch trains the abs by adding resistance and focusing on their most contracted position. The motion is strict abdominal flexion, with the goal of bringing your sternum and pelvis closer together.

  • Tie a rope to a high pulley and kneel in front of it, holding the handles either side of your neck.  
  • Contract your abs to bring your elbows to your thighs without moving your hips. 
  • Take a breather, then slowly return to your starting position.


  • Barbell Floor Wiper

The barbell floor wiper is a core exercise that involves rotating the hips and legs side to side while holding the barbell in the locked-out position of a floor press.

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended, holding the barbell above your chest.
  • Raise your legs into an L-shape while keeping your arms straight.
  • Lower one leg to each side and then raise them without touching the floor.


  • Medicine Ball V-Up

This ab workout is a more advanced version of the traditional V-up exercise that targets the external obliques while also increasing range of motion in the hip and lower back. This exercise is excellent for developing the rectus abdominus without adding bulk.

  • Lie face-up on the floor with a medicine ball in your hands. 
  • Extend your arms as if you are reaching for the ceiling.
  • Engage your core and lift your shoulders and feet off the ground at the same time, while keeping your spine neutral. 
  • Try to touch your feet to the medicine ball if you’re flexible enough. 
  • Don’t jerk or pulse at the top; instead, aim for a smooth motion. 
  • Reverse the motion gradually until your shoulders and feet are back on the ground. 
  • That makes one repetition.


  • Medicine Ball Slam

Medicine ball slams effectively target nearly every major muscle group, making them an excellent addition to high-intensity workout routines. 

  • Standing up, slightly bent knees, lift the medicine ball directly over your head, arms extended.
  • Stand on your toes and use your core muscles to throw the ball to the ground while bending forward at the waist.
  • Repeat after catching the ball. 
  • The motion will not only strengthen your abs but also give you strong shoulders.

Key Takeaway

These are just a few of the many ab exercises available to help you build muscle. Just remember to warm up before beginning any type of workout. Maintain proper form at all times and take precautions.

It is also advisable to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program. You can also seek professional advice from reputable fitness trainers to ensure that the fitness regimen you choose is appropriate for your health and fitness level.

Always keep your safety in mind. Stay healthy, and show off those six packs soon!

Author Bio

Rachel Miller is a certified Sport and Fitness Enthusiast who loves to write and blog about her Fitness passion for Nordic Lifting. Her goal is to spread awareness and instill in the lives of people everywhere the value of staying fit, good nutrition, and proper exercise.

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