The very best belly-buster exercise
There are many different abdominable exercises, each with their own advocates and supporter who say they're effective to improve your belly. Here's a quick list:
Traditional crunch, reverse crunch, vertical leg crunch, captains' chair (sometimes called Roman chair), crunches on an exercise ball, torso track, heel-push crunch...
Lot's of crunches - but lets get to the crunch (sorry!) - which one is the most effective?
An study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise done by Dr. Peter Francis at San Diego State University actually placed the traditional crunch at number 11 out of 13, with the "ab rocker" rocking it's way into the unlucky 13th spot.
Asides from the Roman chair none of the various types of abdominable exercising machines or equipment faired well, so stick your roller, slider and other such stuff back under the bed.
To find the best, the most effective and generally worthwhile, they examined the volume of stomach muscle being worked, range of movement etc.
The best belly busting exercise for shaping and toning belly muscles is...
The bicycle maneuver!
Which is a relief, because I've been telling people that for a long time! Here's a quick run-down of how to do it:
Lie on your back and raise your legs in the air, with your hands loosely clasped behind your head. Do not pull at your neck.
Begin moving your legs as though riding a bike, and then pull your upper body with the stomach muscles towards your legs, lightly touching the opposing knee with each elbow. Ensure your legs are fairly high up, or you will rapidly tire your leg extensors before the stomach. They should not be raised right up but should be at 45 degrees or more. Keep that up for 3 whole minutes and you can rest assured you already have a great 6-pack waiting to be revealed!
Realistically you won't do 3 minutes to start with; aim for 30 seconds and each session try to maintain it a little longer. When you can reach the 2 minute mark you can rest easy knowing that a "toned" stomach is not the problem. For men or women wanting sharply defined abs, aim for 3 minutes but remember, they will still be invisible until you burn off the fat.
The above description is taken directly from the Biggly Body Plan ebook, which is included in the combo pack with my special Diet and Exercise Software.