Researchers from the American Council on Exercise recruited 30 men and women of different fitness levels and tested the effectiveness of many different abdominal exercises and machines, using electromyography equipment to measure muscle activity .
The three best:
- Bicycles
- Captain’s Chair (Knee Raises)
- Crunches on a Stability Ball
Although crunches on a ball generated less activity in the obliques and rectus abdominus (6 pack muscle) than the top two exercises, the exercise also generated significantly less activity in the rectus femoris (a quadricep/hip flexor) – making it, arguably, the best overall exercise of the lot, the report says. The Ab Roller was proven to be virtually no more effective than the traditional crunch while the AB Rocker was shown to be up to 80 percent less effective. To read the whole report, click here.

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