It seems like every other day there is a new exercise gizmo being peddled by a manic infomercial guru that promises a six pack overnight. Thank goodness for scientific research. Dr. Peter Francis headed up a commissioned study from the American Council on Exercise which was conducted by the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University. The research team looked at 13 of the most common abdominal exercises from basic crunches, to gym and home exercise equipment designed to sculpt your abs.
30 healthy women and men between the ages of 20 and 45 were involved in the study. While each participant performed the various abdominal exercises, their muscle activity was monitored with electromyography (EMG) equipment. It turns out, that one of the most effective abdominal exercises you can do is basic crunches on a stability ball. Charlotte fitness professional, Jenna Bertram (pictured), demonstrates the ab crunch that ranked one of the best overall. The Ab Rocker came in last and was proven to be 80% less effective than basic abdominal crunches.
You don't need 3 easy payments of $19.95 to buy a stability ball. You can find them in the sporting goods section at WalMart or Target for less than $20. Some balls come with a DVD which you may find helpful if you are new to exercising with the stability ball. For proper technique and form see attached video. Click on ACE link above to read the entire study results.