Help your members get that summer six pack

SAN DIEGO — An American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored study has revealed the best and worse abdominal exercises to obtain that washboard stomach.

The study, led by Peter Francis, Ph.D., at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, compared 13 of the most common abdominal exercises — including those involving equipment — and determined which were the most and least effective.

According to researchers, the top three abdominal exercises were bicycle maneuver, captain's chair and crunch on exercise ball. Study subjects included 30 healthy women and men, ages 20 to 45, ranging from occasional to daily exercisers.

The 13 abdominal exercises included the traditional crunch, modified crunches, partial body-weight exercises, and exercises using both home and gym equipment. Each exercise was ranked for muscle stimulation in both the rectus abdominus and the obliques.

The top rated exercises — ranked from most to least effective — are listed below.

Rectus Abdominus Obliques
1.
Bicycle maneuver
1.
Captain's chair
2.
Captain's chair
2.
Bicycle maneuver
3.
Crunches on exercise ball
3.
Reverse crunch
4.
Vertical leg crunch
4.
Hover
5.
Torso Track
5.
Vertical leg crunch
6.
Long arm crunch
6.
Crunch on exercise ball
7.
Reverse crunch
7.
Torso Track
8.
Crunch with heel push
8.
Crunch with heel push
9.
Ab Roller
9.
Long arm crunch
10.
Hover
10.
Ab Roller
11.
Traditional crunch
11.
Traditional crunch
12.
Exercise tubing pull
12.
Exercise tubing pull
13.
Ab Rocker
13.
Ab Rocker