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- ACE Fitness: American Council on Exercise Sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises
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Navy SEAL Abdominal Exercises
Navy SEALs are a group of elite military special operators comprised of some of the best athletes in the world. The military elite are trained under the worst conditions in order to be able to combat in some of the most dangerous places in the word.
Although Navy SEALs find themselves in uncommon conditions, the exercises that they must complete to pass the fitness test are surprisingly typical, and include the sit-up, pull-up and timed run and swim. Train your ab with a myriad core exercises so you can bust out the required number of sit-ups with no problem.
The bicycle maneuver is one of the best overall ab exercises you can perform, according to the American Council on Exercise. Start by lying on your back with your knees in the air at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands behind your head for neck support. Lift your head neck and shoulders off of the ground as you twist your right elbow toward your left knee and extend your right leg out, letting it hover above the ground. Bring your right leg back in and crunch your left elbow toward your right knee as you extend your left leg out. Keep your shoulder blades lifted off of the ground the entire time.
Start by getting into a push-up position with your feet extended straight behind you and your hands underneath your shoulders. Contract your abs and squeeze your glutes as you hold this for 30 seconds to one minute. To work your obliques, switch onto one side with your forearm on the ground and your legs stacked on top of each other. Lift your hips off of the ground and keep your body aligned in a straight line. For added difficulty, lift your top leg off of your bottom leg.
The crunch activates the rectus abdominis. Start by lying on your back with your feet either on the ground or up in the air with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands behind your head for neck support. Contract your abs so that your low back touches the floor and crunch up towards the sky, ensuring that your shoulder blades lift off of the ground. Slowly lower back down with control and repeat.
Read more: Navy Seal Pull-Up Workout
Lie on your back with your hands underneath your sacrum to support your back. Lift your legs up 6 inches off of the floor, keeping them as straight as possible. Contract your abs and start “fluttering” your legs back and forth. As your right leg flutters up, your left leg flutters down. Keep your abs contracted the entire time so your hips and body don’t move.
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Collette Stohler is the author of Passport to Fitness. She is also the creative director and co-founder of the travel blog, Roamaroo. She was an All-American Track and Field athlete & Olympic trials qualifier in Olympic Weightlifting. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and received a master's degree from the University of Miami.