Upper Ab Exercises

Upper Ab Exercises Muscle Image

The upper aspect of the rectus abdominis, this muscle area includes the abdominals located directly below the sternum and about two to three inches above the belly button.

Often targeted by "tucking" or "pulling motions" such as bringing the knees toward the chest or by bringing the chest towards the abdomen, upper ab exercises are great companions to lower ab exercises but also function completely well as standalone exercises.

A list of upper ab exercises:

Ab Extensions
This exercise is similar to performing a suspended 'plank' and it demands complete control and proper technique to effectively target the abdominals and serratus anterior muscles.
Crunches (Flat Surface) Image
Known as one the most basic abdominal exercises, this is a simple lying exercise that hits the upper abs and can be done from nearly anywhere.
Machine Crunches Image
Designed for both beginners and advanced individuals, crunches performed using a machine offer the ability to adjust the level of weight resistance.
Knee Raises Dip Machine Image
Knee raises on the dip machine are a great exercise for targeting the upper abdominals as well as the basic or middle abdominals.
Knee Raises Hanging Grip Image
A mildly more difficult variation of hanging strap knee raises, hanging grip knee raises require additional focus on maintaining grip throughout the targeted upper abdominal workout.
Knee Raises (Hanging Straps)
The use of straps allows for complete focus on the upper abs without requiring the support of the forearms for stability.
Rope Pulls Image
Performed with the rope extension, rope pulls are an excellent way to target the elusive serratus muscles as well as the obliques and abdominals.
Seated Leg Tucks Image
Requiring balance and coordination, seated legs tucks work the entire abdominal regions (i.e. lower, middle, and upper), as well as the hips.
Side Knee Raises Hanging Grip Image
Utilizing a stationary bar (preferably a wide grip pull up bar) this exercise allows for solid focus of the oblique and abdominal muscles.
Side Knee Raises Hanging Straps Image
Utilizing straps, this exercise allows for solid focus of the oblique and abdominal muscles while lessening the focus on the forearms for stability.
Sit-Ups Elbow to Knee Twist Image
This is a great exercise for beginners looking to gain enough strength and endurance to utilize the more advanced oblique exercises. The basic and effective nature of this exercise places it at the core of many exercise programs.
V-Pull-Up Image
An extremely challenging exercise, V pull-ups literally require one to form an "V" shape with their body, and hold it while doing pull-ups.