I was wondering if anyone could tell me what are some good ab workouts to do at the gym. I would like to my stomach to look better. I have been doing some ab machine workouts and side to side lifts with weights, but I was wondering what is the best way to tighten the core muscles.
Unless you are looking for a shot at an MMA title, squat heavy will be all you need.
If your gym has some hanging ab straps (sleeves) you might give them a try. Normally, the gyms I have been in have some available to slip over chin up type bars or hanging hand extensions.
I think the hanging ab straps have been very good for me to tighten my abs, but I am not a personal trainer or health-wellness expert, so if they advise against using them, then don't use them.
What michaelduff said.
Reverse crunches, hanging leg raises and situps on a swiss ball are good in my book. Prone bridges are excellent as well
Squat, deadlift, pushups, planks, shoulder presses... the list goes on.
In general, strengthen your core by using it to stabilize, not for flexion.
I'll also add one-arm dumbell bench presses.
I've heard this a couple of times, and I'm just wondering what the reasoning is? Is it simply for efficiency, or is there more to it?
It has to do with what your back/core is meant for - look up Stuart McGill for more info.
Getting ripped abs are all about diet. You can do a million crunches but without diet they will never see the light of day. If you are cleaning up your diet I would highly recommend P90X Ab ripper X. It is ridiculously hard and you will not be able to do it all at first, but it incorporates allot of great core and ab work simultaneously.
I agree with the reverse crunches.
Lay on your back with your legs out straight and arms to the side like you're on a cross. SLOWLY lift you legs up and SLOWLY bring them back down to hover just above the ground. Do about 3 sets of 10 or whatever you're up for.
This is one of those exercises which uses the complementary stabilizer muscles and gives you a great overall work out.
These are all good recommendations for stronger, tighter abs. The other thing you can do, when you're not in the gym, is just flex your stomach muscles, whenever. Make sure you are holding in your stomach, not crazy far, but just flexing, whenever you are walking around or standing up. At first it's a bit awkward, and requires thinking about it, but after a while it'll be second nature.
I've been doing this since I was 13, and I have always had a notably flatter stomach and more pronounced abs than most people in my weight class (142 lbs, 5'3"). I get a lot of compliments on my stomach, and I believe this is part of the reason why it looks as good as it does, and is pretty strong, too!
Recently I started doing flexing exercises at my desk, too, just to help me burn a few extra calories while I'm at work.
Also, running and jogging are great for your core, which goes along with the 'stabilizing' mindset. My abs were at their absolute peak when I was jogging 5 days a week.
Hope this helps! And good luck