Aside from eating a steadfast diet of predominantly fast food and soda, the biggest mistake a person can make when training to obtain an impressive set of abs is sticking to the same old workout of crunches, sit ups, and traditional planks all the time. These exercises are ok, but by no means should they be the only tools utilized to carve up your midsection. Like most people you’re probably somebody who hates change, but rest assured that incorporating new movements into your ab routine will not make your workouts longer; quite the opposite actually. What I’m about to teach you will not only provide you a more productive workout, but a shorter one as well.
Your abdominals are made up predominantly of 3 main sections; upper, lower, and oblique’s. If you’re not training each area routinely, you will never develop a firm, aesthetic core. To remedy this issue that seems to be plaguing gym goers nation wide, I have put together this guide showcasing 3 separate routines, 1 targeting each of the 3 sections. This workout should be done as a warm up to whichever body part you’re working that day, or at the duration of you’re normal training. The goal is to train your abs 3 days per week. You will do all exercises listed with no rest in between, which will elevate your heart rate and promote fat loss. This is a good thing for obvious reasons.
How it Works
Perform 1 circuit each day targeting a different section of your abs. Complete one set of each movement in a circuit with no rest in between movements. Rest 1 minute in between circuits and repeat sequence. Depending on your current level of fitness you will perform the circuit 2-4 times.
3 Day Ab Workout
DAY 1: LOWER ABS
1.Hanging leg raise
Reps: 10-15 Rest: 0 secs
Hang from a pull up bar with your palms facing out. Contract your lower abs in such a way that your legs (or knees) come up towards the bar. Slowly control the negative motion down to where you began.
2. Reverse crunch
Reps: 10-12 Rest: 0 secs
Begin by lying on your back on a mat or other comfortable surface. Place your hands flat on the floor and your legs perpendicular to the floor with knees at a right angle and legs crossed. Contract your abs prior to moving your legs and slowly curl up your body weight with the legs lifting your hips off the ground with your abs. Motion is complete once lower back and hips are barely off the floor. Slowly return to the starting position.
3. Vacuum plank
Reps: 30 sec hold Rest: 1 min
Assume a plank position by creating a tabletop like stance with your body keeping your forearms planted on the floor. While maintaining this posture, suck your belly in as hard and far as it will go, as if you were trying to button a pair of jeans that were too tight. Get uncomfortable! It should be hard to breathe and should feel very awkward. This is perfectly normal and what you want. Hold for 30 seconds sucking in as much as humanly possible then rest 1 minute and repeat circuit.
Day 2: Oblique’s
1. Seated Bicycle Crunch
Reps: 20-30 (each side) Rest: 0 sec
Lie on your back on the floor and hold your hands up on the side of your head. Crunch your torso up off the floor and twist to your left side, bringing your left knee to meet your right elbow. Repeat in the reverse motion. Once you gain momentum you should look like you’re pedaling a bike. Perform in a crisp, controlled manner.
2. Cable oblique crunches
Reps: 15-20 (each side) Rest: 0 sec
Place a handle grip on a high pulley about 6 inches above your head. (Can be done on knees if pulley is not high enough) Take the handle in your right hand. Bend to your right side at the waist 6-8 inches. Raise back up to the starting position in a smooth controlled range of motion. Perform 15-20 reps and repeat movement on left side.
3. Cable wood chopper
Reps: 12-15 (each side) Rest: 1 min
Attach a handle to a cable tower and adjust the cable to the highest pulley position. Grab the handle with both hands keeping your shoulders perpendicular to the stack. With the arms extended over the opposite shoulder, look straight ahead and pull the handle across your body finishing the movement around waist level. Slowly return the weight back to the original position and repeat movement. Maintain a tight core throughout entire range of motion. Alternate sides and repeat
Day 3: Upper Abs
1. Weighted Swiss Ball Crunch
Reps: 8-12 Rest: 0 sec
Lie back on a Swish ball and hold a dumbbell on your chest with both hands. Your feet should be flat on the floor at a distance that offers stability. Crunch your torso up off the ball and hold 2-3 seconds. Return slowly to starting position. Repeat for desired reps.
2. Kneeling Cable Crunch
Reps: 12-15 Rest: 0 sec
Kneel in front of an adjustable cable machine, attach rope and adjust the pulley well over your head. Keeping your legs shoulder width apart, grab the rope with palms facing each other and pull it to the sides of your head. Contract your abs and simultaneously crunch forward, bringing your head toward the floor. Hold for a brief moment in this position and give it an extra squeeze to really feel that separation in the core. Return to starting position and repeat.
Reps: 8-12 Rest: 1 minute
Lay flat on the floor with your legs flat and your arms extended over your head. Lift your chest and legs up off the ground in unison. Your arms should lead your chest and the goal is to touch your toes at the top of each rep performed. (You may not be able to accomplish this right away) As your touching your toes, (in theory) the top of your tailbone should be the only thing in contact with the ground.
Remember, you had to crawl before you learned to walk. Your current level of fitness will determine how much you’re able to do right away. Be patient and stay focused with the end result. Consistency with these workouts will result in a head turning, chiseled set of abs.