No part of the body has been examined, marketed, debated, and otherwise obsessed over more than the abdominals. Pick any fitness debate regarding lifting, nutrition, cardio, or recovery and you’ll find people arguing about how to get six-pack abs. If we examine that question closely it really comes down to one thing: which exercises should I be including in the abs workouts and which should I avoid. How much of my focus should be dedicated to my abs workouts?

Therein lies the catch-22 about abs training: The more abs workouts you include in your training, the tougher it is to achieve your fitness goal of gaining a six pack is. But when you switch up your approach on training your core that includes a broader perspective of dialing in your nutrition and undergoing an integrated program that builds a strong pillar of strength that includes such body parts as the hips, shoulders, and midsection, they tend to appear unannounced.

So rather than fight the losing battle of endless crunches, constant injury inducing sit-ups, and common core exercises for your abs workouts, here are seven ab exercises to avoid and seven  exercises to swap them out for. These core exercises will produce the strength that your typical abs workouts will not, and when combined with a focused nutritious diet will create what essential be the fitness holy grail of obtaining six-pack abs.

Pete Williams is a NASM certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.


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