A recent issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (as reviewed in the IDEA Fitness Journal) compared eight stability ball and two floor-based abdominal exercises to determine which activated the abdominal muscle groups the most effectively. Exercises compared included the following:
- Stability Ball: roll-out; pike; knee-up; skier; hip extension right and left; decline push-up; and seated march.
- Floor based exercises: crunch; and bent knee sit-up
The most effective exercise to activate the different groups of muscles in the abdomen turned out to be the roll-out and the pike. These exercises are from a more advanced group of exercises, so should only be included in a workout once an individual is strong enough to perform them with proper technique so as to avoid risk of injury.
References from the SIRC Collection:
- Halvorson, Ryan (2010). Which Exercise Is Best for Abdominal Activation? IDEA Fitness Journal, 7(8); 15.
- Escamilla, Rafael F.; Lewis, Clare; Bell, Duncan; Bramdlet, Gwen; Daffron, Jason; Lambert, Steve; Pecson, Amanda; Imamura, Rodney; Paulos, Lonnie; Andrews, James R., (2010). Core Muscle Activation During Swiss Ball and Traditional Abdominal Exercises. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 40(5), 265-276.