The question posted on a facebook group for personal trainers the other day was something like 'how many times have you been asked, 'what is the best ab exercise?' and what do you say?' I didn't answer. Mainly, because I find the attitudes of most personal trainers repulsive. The gig outta be about helping others, not showing off your vast wealth of knowledge, and your inhuman personal workout habits. Most of their answers had a common flavor of belittling their clients. Maybe that's how you make the big bucks, I don't know.
Ok, let me get off my high horse (he isn't really that high,) and let you know what I, in my brilliance, think. The all-time best ab exercise is VISUALIZATION. Until you see it in your mind's eye, and fully believe in yourself and your ability to create the body you want- you won't have it. It's also a really good idea to make your visualizations reasonable or realistic. Visualizing the impossible is just dreaming, and a set up for failure. Aim high, but don't aim impossible.
Visualize consistently, you don't have to obsess, it's just something you want to be mindful of. You can do in a meditative state, or waiting in line at the store. Get creative, and make it your own. I tend to achieve a little extra fat around the midsection during the winter months. When I'm cutting back the calories and exercising to shape up for summer, I like to visualize alone in front of a mirror. It's a short, quick process. I just look at my abs in the mirror and kind of unfocus my eyes a little, and imagine the way I want them to look in 6 weeks or whatever a reasonable time frame is.
When I went from 270 lbs to 200 lbs 5 years ago visualizing was a big factor. It helped that I'd been thin as a kid on up through my twenties. If you've never really been thin before, visualizing is even more important than you might think. Your subconscious mind can create self-sabotage. It could be thinking that you're starving to death or getting sick. Every thought thunk, creates a chemical reaction in the body. It might sound like new age bull***t, but Dr. Andy's Travelling 6 Pack Show is here to tell ya it ain't.
Live strong, and prosper.