To train the abs completely, we have to understand the basic anatomy of this muscle group. We already know that simple crunches will not cut it and you won’t train your abs efficiently with only this one exercise. There are more movements involved in the way abs work besides the top to down muscle movement.
The Basic Anatomy of the Abs
The main parts of the abdominal muscle group are rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques and transversus abdominis. Each of these muscles are responsible for different movements of your core. The rectus abdominis (six pack) is responsible for the up and down flexing movement, the obliques are responsible for the oblique rotation from top to bottom (external) and from bottom to top (internal), and finally the transversus abdominis runs through your waste like a belt and is responsible for your core stability, stopping the movement.
So in order to train your abs completely, you have to involve all of these movements in your workouts. You need up and down crunching when your lower body is stable, as well as the reverse crunching when the upper body is stable and your legs are moving up. You need rotation movement from side to side, and you need to be able to stop your body from spontaneous movement.
You have two options here. You can perform different exercises for each movement, or you can incorporate all of them in one exercise.
The Alphabet Ab Workout
Because we often have to work with limited time around a busy schedule, we love exercises that can include several different muscle movements. This increases the workout intensity and saves a lot of time, making the workout very efficient.
The Alphabet ab workout is one of our favorites because of these reasons. It’s a simple and fun technique to train your abs that incorporates all the required ab movements in an unusual way. And the premise is simple, we take a hanging knee raise exercise and spell out each letter of the alphabet with our legs.
So starting with the letter A, while hanging from a pull up bar, we raise our legs up and across, then down and across the other way. Finally, we lift the legs midway and across vertically for that dash in the letter A.
Continue performing leg raises in all these movements to draw every letter of the alphabet or until you fail. This will include all kinds of circular, up and down, and top to bottom movements that will work your abs in all ways possible. That makes this workout technique pretty much all you need to train your abs, especially in limited time.
If you can’t complete all 26 reps, keep improving until you get there. And if the entire alphabet is too easy for you, go for several rounds and try keeping your legs straight, move in bigger motions.