The Most Dreaded Ab Workouts and Why You Should Do Them 

By Marcherry Garnica
Apr 18 2023

The Most Dreaded Ab Workouts and Why You Should Do Them 

A warning: You should become accustomed to feeling uncomfortable when performing the abs workouts listed below. Your core will thank (and hate) you later.


The plank is one of the most hated ab exercises, but it’s also one of the best. Planks exercise every core muscle and your glutes, quads, shoulders, triceps, and other muscles. They are genuine full-body actions, in other words. Starting off with 10 to 15 seconds, you should work your way up to one minute as your stamina increases.

Bicycle Crunches:

Bicycle crunches are another challenging ab exercise that can help tone and strengthen your abs. They work your rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors. They also help improve your balance and coordination.

Russian Twists: 

Obliques and transverse abdominis are the focus of the challenging ab workout known as the Russian twist. They also enhance rotational stability, which is crucial for sports like tennis and golf. 

Leaning back, lifting your legs off the ground, and twisting your torso from side to side are the components of the traditional Russian twist. The main objective? Your core!

Dragon Flags: 

Dragon flags are an advanced ab exercise that requires a lot of strength and stability. The dragon flag is a challenging bodyweight exercise for the core that can help develop excellent overall core strength and extremely firm, defined abs. (also known as dragon flag abs).

How to do Dragon Flags

  1. Get into the proper position by locking your arms in a fixed overhead position. Alternatively, you can hold a steady object above your head while sitting on a bench with your hand near your head and holding onto the bench’s sides. Some people use a barbell or kettlebell, but having something solid and sturdy is far safer and more practical.
  2. Keep your body tight from your shoulders to your toes, and avoid bending the hips as you contract your chest and drive your legs up like a reverse crunch. To help maintain good body alignment, point your toes.
  3. Once your legs are raised, carefully and deliberately lower them until only your upper back and shoulders are in contact with the bench. You should stop the exercise if you cave in, drop your hips, or arch your back because you lack the necessary strength.
  4. Lower your body until it is slightly above the bench.


If you’ve mastered the sit-up and are seeking a challenge, continue. You might be the perfect candidate for the v-up, commonly known as a jackknife. Your abs will burn with this bodyweight core exercise.

How To Do A V-Up Properly

  1. Lie face-up on the floor with your legs and arms straight and lifted off the floor slightly.
  2. In one movement, lift your torso and legs as if you’re trying to touch your toes.
  3. Lower your body back down. That’s one rep.


Learn how to do an L-sit — the full-body exercise that looks simple, but will seriously work your core. The plank has recently supplanted the crunch and sit-up as the “best core exercise.” However, there’s a new move in town equals the planks in significance and efficiency. Meet the L-sit. “L-sits are hard, but if you want to improve your core strength and stability, they are a must,” says Kari Pearce creator of the Power Abs and PHIIT programs.

Hanging Leg Raises: 

A challenging ab workout that works your lower abs, hip flexors, and quadriceps is hanging leg raises. Your grip strength and upper body stability are both enhanced by them as well. In addition, they are a good workout for developing a strong and toned core because they require strength and control.

How to do Hanging Leg Raises

  1. Grab a pull-up bar. Make a V-shaped motion with your arms while holding a pull-up bar, then drop yourself into a dead hang. 
  2. Put your feet together and bring your legs straight up until they parallel your body.
  3. Return to the starting position gradually. 

Why Ab Workout is So Difficult 

Because the abs are a small muscular group used in various activities but are not typically the primary emphasis, training them can be difficult. 

  1. High muscle density: Since the abdominal muscles are thicker, working them takes more effort. This implies that you must exert more effort to engage and activate your ab muscles.
  2. High endurance requirement: The abs are continuously used throughout the day as we sit, stand, and move about. This indicates that you need to execute more sets and reps to see benefits because they have a high endurance requirement.
  3. Limited range of motion: Since most ab exercises have a restricted range of motion, you must concentrate on squeezing your muscles more forcefully to feel the burn.
  4. Fatigue: Exercises for the abs can be exhausting, which can make them more challenging to complete. In addition, maintaining appropriate form and adequately using your core muscles gets difficult as your muscles deteriorate.
  5. Poor diet: Finally, Your body requires a balanced diet and enough sleep to repair and grow muscle, and so do both. A bad diet makes ab exercises more challenging. For instance, if you don’t consume enough protein, your muscles might not have access to the fuel they require to function at their peak. 

How many times you should train core workout

Your fitness objectives, current fitness level, and total training program all affect how frequently you perform core exercises. To get the best benefits, we recommend exercising your core 2–3 times weekly.

Suppose your main objective is to develop a strong and toned core. In that case, you should include a range of exercises focusing on the core’s major muscle groups, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis. Crunches and leg lifts are examples of isolation exercises. Planks and mountain climbers are examples of compound exercises. 

You should increase the frequency of your core workouts if you’re preparing for a particular sport or activity, like weightlifting or jogging, to enhance your performance and avoid injuries.

It’s vital to remember that several other workouts, including squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses, also include your core muscles. Therefore, even if your core isn’t the focus of every movement, those muscles are still somewhat worked. 

Give your core muscles enough time to relax and heal between workouts because recovery is just as crucial as training. Over time, this can help prevent injuries and boost performance.

Wrap: Doing Ab Exercises Doesn’t Get Rid of Abdominal Fat

Unfortunately, spot reduction doesn’t function on any body part, including the abs. The spot-reduction fallacy holds that if you have fat over your abs, working out your ab muscles will make that fat disappear.

The only way to lose belly fat is to reduce overall body fat by creating a calorie deficit. The healthiest approach to do it is by regular exercise, including aerobic, weightlifting, and flexibility exercises, as well as a low-calorie diet.

Remember that none of it guarantees you will lose abdominal fat. Your genetic makeup, age, and hormones are a few examples of non-controllable elements.

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