✨✨MY CURRENT FAVORITE AB EXERCISES✨✨ Remember, abs are 90% diet and maybe 10% training. I personally train abs multiple days a week simply because I LOVE training abs. I love the burn and I love seeing that muscle when my diet is in check. I usually pick three exercises and throw them in at the end of one of my upper body days. These are some of my current favorites.
1. Plank - I HATED planks back in the day and was forced to do them for physical therapy after my dislocation. I could only hold them for 15 seconds. After adding them into most of my ab workouts, I can now hold them for well over a minute and weighted for about a full minute! Make sure you keep your back straight - no arching or rounding - and engage your abs! Don't let your arms do all the work.
2. Side plank with a twist - Again, engage your abs. Don't let your hips dip down, and don't let your arm hold all the weight. Concentrate on your abs helping move the weight during the twist, not your arm and shoulder.
3. Cable crunch - Most people do these on their knees, but I personally find that for some reason my legs start to take over for some of the weight. Bracing myself against the back of the cable machine helps take my legs almost totally out of the equation, as well as gives me a little deeper range of motion.
4. Hip raise with a twist - don't use your momentum, this should be done using your abs. You might see people going all the way down to the ground with their legs. I don't do this for two reasons. One, while the stretch is also important for building ab muscle, the crunch is more important. Two, when you lower your legs straight to the ground, the act of bringing them back up engages your hip flexors much more than your abs. I feel it a ton in my hip flexors, so I take those completely out of the equation.
5. Cable unilateral crunch - This one always makes my abs sore! Make sure your choose a weight that is challenging, but that you can perform without losing your form.