So far I have barely scratched the surface of ab exercises that are out there and will not be able to cover them all in future. I would encourage you to do some research on your own if you want some more ab exercises to keep you from getting bored or if you want to have a more diverse workout. Today I will cover some different exercises that will be location specific.
First we will cover the upper and middle abs; this is perhaps the most common and easiest area to work because just about every ab exercise there is as well as many other types of exercises work this area. Besides the ones I have already covered, another exercise that works this area is the pull-in. Some say this is more of a lower-ab exercise, but it works the upper and middle abs so well, I am going to include it in this section. The pull-in is performed by laying flat on the floor, then with your head about six inches off of the ground and your hands in sit-up position, keep your legs together, lift them into the air about six inches and then bend at the knee while pulling your legs in until your upper leg is at a ninety degree angle with your upper body and your knees are also bent at a ninety degree angle. Using the reverse motion, straighten your legs back out until they are completely straight and six inches above the floor. Make sure your feet do not hit the floor; this will decrease the intensity immensely. To make this exercise slightly easier, you can keep your head on the floor; to make it harder, hold at the start position with your legs straight and six inches above the floor for three or more seconds, do this at the end of every rep.
The lower abs seem to be most people’s crutch. This is the place where excess fat likes to hang out and is a little harder to find an effective exercise for. One that I have found to work extremely well is the floor-wiper. This can be done by either lying flat on a bench or lying flat on the ground. A good starting point for beginners would be to lay flat on the floor, then put your arms straight in the air perpendicular with the ground. Next, put your straight and keep them together, raise them without bending them until they are perpendicular in the air, then lower them back down without letting them hit the floor and repeat. To increase difficulty, hold some light dumbbells in your hands while performing this exercise. Then after you feel comfortable with doing those, the actual floor-wiper is performed by laying flat on a bench; put some weight on a barbell, hold that up, and then raise your legs as before. This works the lower abs a ton, it also works on the shoulders and arms and balance because it is difficult to hold the bar while raising your legs. The upper and lower abs as well as the obliques are also worked during this exercise. To increase difficulty once again, hold up dumbbells on the bench, this will really test your balance and ab strength.
A great oblique specific exercise is the twist. There are many variations of this exercise, but the basic one is performed by sitting on the ground, then slightly leaning back with your upper body and extending your legs away from you. Raise your legs off of the ground about six inches, then lock your hands together and twist to one side of your body, touch the ground, and then twist to the other side of your body, touch the ground and then repeat. If you want an added challenge, take a medicine ball or a dumbbell or a weighted plate, and move that across your body in place of only your hands. Also, try to lean your upper body further back toward the floor and straighten your legs. As your abs increase in strength, this is a good way to keep using the same exercise but increase its difficulty.
Make sure to try to keep good form as always and try these different exercises out. Do not give up; keep pushing yourself and persevering and you will see results. Next time I will finally look into some workout routines that will engage your entire upper body.