10 Best Upper Ab Workouts for a Stronger Core

If you’re looking for best upper ab workouts or want to train your abs, there are a number of varieties of exercises that will help you to achieve your goal.

A strong care looks excellent, but also it is the focal point of your entire body. So, it’s very important to have a strong core, without it you are not that strong in general. 

Well-defined upper abs are right below your chest, there are a number of guys who work harder to target their upper abs because they want to improve their looks and overall appearance.

 Best ab exercise can help you to get rid of excess belly fat, get a slime belly with well-defined abs. So, below are the best 10 upper abs exercises for build strength, core development and aesthetics. Try to read the article till the end.

Benefits of Targeting Upper Abs 

It is very important to include some ab exercises in your workout routine. If you’re not targeting your core, then it affects your overall strength, endurance and performance. Your abdominal muscles are also an anchor for your back, and weak abdominal muscles can place unnecessary strain on your back.

However, your core muscles are involved in every single movement you make. So, it is very important to have stronger abs. Having sharper and stronger abs can improve your overall strength and endurance.

Things to Consider While Doing Upper Ab Workouts

Before getting into the exercise, there are some tips you need to understand when it comes to training your abdominal muscles. There are:

  • The important thing is the way you breathe while performing exercise, you must exhale when you contract the muscle and inhale when you relax the muscles.
  • Cardio is very important for flat abs, doing 30 to 40 minutes cardio in the form of walking, swimming, jumping and more, can be more beneficial.
  • You need to concentrate on the correct form and your posture, not on the number reps or sets you do. Try to give attention to your movements.
  • Remember, no pain, no gain, if you feel a burn while doing exercise do not stop, keep going and complete the set.
  • Upper abs are a bit harder to target but if you’re performing the exercise in correct form and safely, you may burn belly fat and get the thing that you desire.

10 Best Upper Ab Exercises

There are a number for Upper ab exercises for beginners and Experienced fitness athletes. Here are 10 best upper ab workouts and exercises you’re not allowed to miss when you’re training. 

01. Crunches


These exercises are the basic crunches that work very well on your upper ab.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head. bend your knees like your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Curl your upper body forward and raise your head.
  • Shoulder blades off the floor and engage your core through it.
  • Return back to the starting position and repeat.

(2-3 sets)(15-18 Rep) (30 Sec Rest), avoid straining your neck in this process.

02. Hollow Hold

Hollow Hold

The hollow hold is like an upside and down plank. Your total balance on your butt, your arms and legs extended to lengthen your center of mass. The hollow hold is the most effective exercise for upper abs.

It will help you to build a more stable base, and improve your athletic performances.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your arms extended over your head and keep the legs also straight.
  • Lift your legs and upper torso off the floor.
  • Hold this position for few seconds or even minutes.
  • Rock back and forth in this position.
  •  Minimizing movement at the hip and shoulder joints

03. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunch is also one of the best exercises to target upper abs. The bicycle crunch is great for rectus abdominis.

Ho to do it:

  • Start by laying on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head.
  • Lift your shoulder off of the floor and bend your knees at a 90-degreeangle, and daze at thighs.
  • Engage abs, bring your right knee up towards your chest, so your left elbow comes to meet your right knees. While straightening your right leg.
  • Then lower back to the starting position and do the same on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
  • Complete as many reps as possible for 30 seconds.

04. Plank


The plank position is one of the best exercises that work well on your upper abs, and increase your overall strength.

The plank is an isometric core strength exercise that works well on your upper abs. you can hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute at one time. Take a break and start again.

How to do it:

  • Lay on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders.
  • Keep your hands flat on the floor and engage the core.
  • Keeping your forearms and feet on the floor, slowly lift yourself upwards until your body looks in a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Keep your hips up, your glutes and core braced.
  • Keep your head and neck relaxed.
  • Breath deeply and slowly, and hold the position for as long as you can.

05. Toe Reach

The toE reach exercises can be done with or without weights, depending on your fitness level, stability and strength. This exercise works great on your rectus abdominis.

How to do it:

  • Start by laying on your back on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your arms extended behind the head.
  • Slowly lift your legs in the air straight up to form a 90-degree angle with your body, that is pointing towards the ceiling.
  • Slowly, lift your arms, shoulder and head off the floor so fingers point towards toes.
  • You must try to touch your toes with your fingers.
  • Repeat this movement for 20 to 30 times.

06. Ab Roll-out

Ab Roll-out

The ab roll-out strengthens the upper abs and burns belly fat. You can do abs roll-out with a barbell, or ab wheel. It will increase muscle development and challenge you during both lifting and lowering phases.

How to do it:

  • You can use a variety of equipment to do this exercise like dumbbells, a barbell, gym ball or abs wheel rollout.
  • Grip your equipment and position in front of you and you kneel on the floor.
  • Hold the handles of the equipment and place your full weight on it.
  • Cross your legs behind your and lift your feet off the floor.
  • Engage your core, push the roller forward as for you can.
  • hen, roll back to the starting position.
  • This movement should be controlled and slow at all times.
  •   You can do this exercise with a barbell and dumbbell, but the form is the same.

07. V-sit

This exercise is best for upper abs and target rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis.

How to do it:

  • Start by laying on your back on the floor with legs extended and arms straight by your sides. 
  • Slowly, lift your upper body, arms and legs forming a “V” shape with your body.
  • Your body balances on the tailbone.
  • Then, slowly lower the body back to the starting position under control. That’s one rep.
  • Do this exercise and complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.

08. Hanging Leg Raise

The hanging leg raise is the best exercise that works the abdominals and hip flexors. This exercise is great for any fitness routine for overall core strength, mobility and spine health.

How to do it:

  • Hold a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder width apart, using an overhand grip.
  • Engage your abdominal, slowly raise your legs up until your legs are 90-degree to your body with your torso. Keeping your legs straight.
  • Then slowly lower back to the starting position under control. 

09. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are great exercise that has benefits to your overall body, great for targeting upper abs.

How to do it:

  • Start this exercise in a high plank position.
  • Keep your shoulder over wrists and back flat.
  • Then, pull your right knees towards your chest, and return it to the starting position.
  • Then pull the left knee towards your chest.
  • Alternate between pulling your right and lifting knees towards your chest.
  • Repeat as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.

10. Swiss Ball Crunches

Crunches on a stability ball are as effective as traditional crunches. Doing this exercise may give your upper abs a more balanced workout by hitting more muscles.

Ho to do it:

  • Bring Swiss ball and sit on it.
  • Slowly roll out, so your back is placed on the ball.
  • Place your hands behind your head and your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly, raise your shoulder and head blades off the ball to do a crunch.
  • Get back to the starting position and repeat.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do Crunches Work Upper or Lower Abs?

    Upper body crunches work great on your upper abs or rectus abdominis. The upper body crunches are most common ab exercise, but you want to hit the upper and lower abs, so you can do double crunches to work.

  • Do Planks Work Upper Abs?

    Plank’s activities have more muscles in your body, remember, planks are not just work on your core but planks work on your entire body. Planks require your legs, your arms and your abs to perform.

  • Do Upper Abs Show First?

    The upper abs are always showing first and they are easier to target, like most common core exercise like crunches hit upper abs very effectively, if you want full six-pack then you need to hit the lower abs also, so read this article: 10 Best Lower Abs Workouts


There are 10 best upper abs workouts that are more beneficial and you can burn belly fat easily. But make sure that you take advice from a personal trainer to do correct form and safely.

Hopefully you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below. 

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