Building abs can be a difficult process. Not only do you need to develop the thick abs, but you also need to get them to show themselves. We’re here to give you our 5 top picks for the best muscle-building ab exercises; ones that will help you build and burn at the same time:

The hanging leg raise 

The hanging leg raise is a great ab exercise, one with great scalability. You can build up to this exercise by starting with bent knee raises in the Roman chair. Then you can work up to straight leg raises, even hanging from a chin-up bar and raising your legs until your legs and torso form a 90-degree angle. By the time you manage to do full straight-leg toes-to-bar raises, your core will be dramatically strengthened. Add a twist to this exercise by rotating your legs side to side when you raise them.

The plank 

An isometric hold, the plank helps to develop great core strength and stability. Hold yourself up using both elbows in the prone position and hold it for as long as you can. It’s very easy to manipulate the degree of difficulty involved in the plank. Try a side plank, leaning on one elbow at a time and switching sides to hit both of your obliques. Maximise this even further by grabbing a dumbbell and doing loaded side planks.

The Russian twist 

Lie down on the floor, legs bent at the knees, and feet under something that will not move. Elevate your upper body, creating an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Extend your arms fully in front of you, perpendicular to your torso and with your hands clasped. Now twist your torso to the right, hold for a second, move back to the starting position, and try the opposite side. Make it a loaded Russian twist by holding a weight with both arms for resistance.

The barbell ab rollout 

The barbell ab rollout is great for your core. Take a barbell, loaded with 5 or 10-pound plates, and place it on the floor in front of you. You should be on your hands and knees, as in a kneeling push-up position. Grip the barbell with both hands shoulder-width apart. Begin to slowly roll the bar forward, stretching your body until it’s straight. Pause, and then pull yourself back to the starting position.

The squat 

Surprisingly, a leg exercise has made our top list for an ab workout! Whilst squat variations exercise the legs and lower back, they also work the abs. Front and back squats force your abs to work overtime to keep an upright position. They should be regularly implemented into your ab workout for maximum results.

Test these at a retreat 

Why not share these muscle-building ab exercises with others at a fitness retreat? Prestige Boot Camp offers a bootcamp London, suitable for all fitness levels and designed to give you an intense workout, as well as a fun experience.

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