Combination Abdominal Exercises: 15 HD Videos

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Abdominal Exercises

The following exercises are combination abdominal exercises. They work multiple abdominal muscles at the same time. A majority of these exercises add a twisting motion to more basic abdominal exercises. These exercises are more difficult to perform than their more basic counterparts. Find additional EMG abdominal exercises at the following links:

 
 

 

 

Abdominal Exercises

Ab Crossovers

Ab Crossovers 3

Ab crossovers are one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper abs and obliques. They are a more basic movement compared to bicycle abs and should be performed by users who are unable to perform that exercise. This exercise allows the user to work his upper abs as he brings his elbow to the opposite knee. Because the user is crunching to the opposite knee, the obliques are also worked. The user should perform all of the reps for one side before changing position and performing the reps for the other side.

 

Ab Bicycles

Ab Bicycles 3

Ab bicycles are one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abs, as well as secondarily the obliques. The upper abs are worked as the user moves the elbow towards the lower half. This makes the user perform a crunching motion that engages the upper abs and obliques. The lower abs are worked as the user moves his opposite knee towards the elbow. This movement makes the user do part of a leg raise and engages the lower abs. When first performing bicycle abs, the user should start slowly, clearly doing one knee and elbow combination before performing the other. As the user becomes more advanced, he may increase the speed of the exercise, so that one leg is coming up as the other is going down. When performed in this manner, the exercise will resemble peddling a bicycle, hence the name. The user should still not go so fast as to not fully engage and squeeze the muscle. One rep is touching both elbows to both knees.

 

Double Crunch

Double Crunch 3

The double crunch is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abs. With the upper part of his body, the user performs a standard crunch, bringing his rib cage towards his pelvis. This movement engages the upper abs. With the lower part of his body, the user performs a bent-knee leg raise, bringing his knees towards his chest. This movement engages the lower abs. The knees and elbows should touch at the top of the exercise. This exercise is a safe exercise for those with back pain to perform.

 

Double Crunch with Twist

Double Crunch with Twist 3

The double crunch with twist is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abs. With the upper part of his body, the user performs a standard crunch with a twist, bringing his rib cage towards his pelvis. This movement engages the upper abs. With the lower part of his body, the user performs a single-leg bent-knee leg raise, bringing his knees towards his chest. This movement engages the lower abs. The knees and elbows should touch at the top of the exercise. This exercise is a safe exercise for those with back pain to perform. Perform all of the repetitions to one side before changing position and performing them to the other side.

 

Crunch with Twist

Crunch with Twist 3

The crunch with twist is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper abs and obliques. It is a more basic movement compared to ab bicycles and should be performed by users who are unable to perform that exercise. This exercise allows the user to work his upper abs as he brings his elbow to the opposite knee. Because the user is crunching to the opposite knee, the obliques are also worked. The user should perform all of the reps for one side before changing position and performing the reps for the other side.

 

Swiss Ball Crunch with Twist

Swiss Ball Crunch with Twist 3

The Swiss ball crunch with twist is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper abs and obliques. It is a more basic movement compared to ab bicycles and should be performed by users who are unable to perform that exercise. This exercise allows the user to work his upper abs as he brings his elbow to the opposite knee. Because the user is crunching to the opposite knee, the obliques are also worked. The user should perform all of the reps for one side before changing position and performing the reps for the other side. By performing the exercise on a ball, the user’s core remains engaged the whole time because he must use his core muscles to balance.

 

Oblique Crunches

Oblique Crunches 3

Oblique crunches, despite its name, is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works both the obliques and the upper abs. The motion for the oblique crunch is performed in the same way as any crunch. The difference comes in how the legs are situated. By placing the legs on either side of the body (see video), the user engages his obliques on the opposite side. This exercise is a safe core exercise for those with low back problems to perform, though depending on the degree of the user’s problem, the twisting of the low back may cause discomfort. If this is the case, the user should not perform the exercise. As with any crunch, the user should be careful not to jerk upward, but rather perform the exercise in a slow and deliberate manner.

 

Toe Touch with Twist

Toe Touches with Twist 3

Toe touches are one of the combination abdominal exercises that primarily works the upper abs, while also providing a secondary workout to the lower abs. The lower abs will be engaged throughout because the legs are held in an upward position. The twisting motion engages the oblique muscles. A common mistake when performing this exercises is to relax the ab muscles between repetitions. When trying to touch the toes, the user should be sure to use the ab muscles, rather than stretching the arms or shoulders. This exercise is a safe exercise for those with back problems to perform because the low back is flat and stationary through the movement.

 

Russian Twist

Russian Twists 3

The Russian twist is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abdominals, the obliques, and transverse abs. Sitting on your hips with your feet off the floor requires your to work your upper and lower abdominals as well as your transverse abs. The twisting motion engages your obliques. The important thing when performing this exercise is to keep the core as tight as possible throughout the motion and to keep your back straight throughout the motion. One full rotation to the left, then to the right equals one complete repetition.

 

Seated Knee Raise with Twist

Seated Knee Raises with Twist 3

Seated knee raises with a twist are a more advanced variation on the knee raises. This exercise works the obliques and lower abs. The lower abs are worked in the raising of the legs, and the twist engages the oblique muscles. When performing this exercise, the user should concentrate on squeezing the oblique muscle at the top, almost as if it is an oblique crunch. Given the twisting motion, this exercise may be problematic for those with lower back problems. However, those with low back problems may prefer this combination exercise to a hanging leg raise with a twist, which works the muscles in a similar way, because the low back is supported throughout the motion.

 

V-Up: Bent Knees

V Ups Bent Knees 3

The V ups with bent knees exercise is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abs. The upper abs are worked as the user pulls his upper body off the mat. They are also engaged throughout the exercise. The lower abs are engaged as the user lifts his legs off the ground. It is important to keep the core tight throughout the entire motion. Relaxing the muscles at the bottom of the motion makes the exercise significantly less effective.

 

Sit Ups

Sit Up 3

Sit ups are one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abs. The upper abs are worked during the first part of the motion, as the user pulls his shoulder blades off the mat. They are also engaged throughout the exercise. The lower abs are engaged during the second half of the exercise as they are what drives the upper body up to the top of the motion. It is important to keep the core tight throughout the entire motion. Relaxing the muscles at the bottom of the motion makes the exercise significantly less effective.

 

Sit Ups with Twist

Sit Ups with Twist 3

The sit ups with twist exercise is one of the combination abdominal exercises that works the upper and lower abs, as well as the obliques. The upper abs are worked during the first part of the sit up motion, as the user pulls his shoulder blades off the mat. They are also engaged throughout the exercise. The lower abs are engaged during the second half of the exercise as they are what drives the upper body up to the top of the motion. The obliques are worked during the twisting part of the movement when the user brings his elbow to the opposite knee. The user should rotate sides in between repetitions. It is important to keep the core tight throughout a sit up. Relaxing the muscles at the bottom of the motion makes the exercise significantly less effective.

 

Hanging Leg Raises with Twist

Hanging Leg Raises with Twist 3

The hanging leg raises with twist exercise is a more advanced variation on the standard hanging leg raises. This exercise works the obliques in addition to the lower abs. The lower abs are worked in the raising of the legs, and the twisting motion engages the oblique muscles. When performing this exercise, the user should concentrate on squeezing the oblique muscle at the top, almost as if it is an oblique crunch. Given the twisting motion, this exercise may be problematic for those with lower back problems. As with any variation of a hanging leg raise, it can be performed by hanging from a pull up bar, using ab straps, or in a captain’s chair.

 

Hanging Knee Raise with Twist: Single Leg

Hanging Knee Raise with Twist 3

The hanging knee raise with twist exercise is one of the combination abdominal exercises that primarily works both the lower abs and the obliques. As with all hanging knee raise variations, the twist single leg variation can be performed in one of three ways: hanging with your hands, hanging with ab straps, or in a captain’s chair. The more supported you are, the less the stabilizer muscles of the core are worked. This variation is different than a regular hanging knee raise in that by bringing the leg over the other leg, the obliques are engaged. With this exercise, it is important to not jerk the leg upward. The raise should be a controlled motion.