The coveted six-pack. That is all everyone is really after right? If you’ve already attained it, great work I applaud you, but you can always get your abs stronger and more defined!
There is a saying that says abs aren’t built in the gym, they’re built in the kitchen. There is some truth to that, but the saying abs are built in the gym and shown in the kitchen rings a little truer although it’s not as catchy.
The reason why this other saying is better is because in order to show the abs that you have built by cutting body fat (in the kitchen), you’ve got to have abs that will show!
For example, if you’ve got a guy/gal at 10% body fat that hasn’t trained their abs and another that is at 10% body fat and has trained his/her abs who’s abs are going to show more?
I hope you said the second option because they have more abs to show! The main purpose of this article is to give you a GREAT ab workout routine so you can build your abs up!
1. Hanging Leg Raises
The first workout of this routine is hanging leg raises.
If you haven’t done these you’re in for a treat! To do these find a bar nearby you can grab onto. Jump up, grab it, keep your legs straight, and bring your legs up as high as you can in a controlled manner. When doing hanging leg raises try not to sway/swing at all.
You will isolate your abs and core more the less you swing. If this exercise is to difficult, instead bend your knees and bring your knees up.
If you’re a veteran to these and can do more than 10 reps in a set then add a small weight or medicine ball in between your knees. If that is still to easy then have a judo master who has practiced for 25 years punch you each time you go up! (Just kidding about the Judo Master stuff)
Do 3 sets of 10 reps. If you can do more than 10 reps then add weight in between your knees.
2. Ab Pike
The Ab Pike is the next exercise on our list. The ab pike is one of the best swiss ball workouts for your abs.
A study tested 8 swiss ball exercises to determine which ones activated the core and abs the most. it quotes, “The roll-out and pike were the most effective exercises in activating upper and lower rectus abdominis, and the external and internal obliques….”(1)
The Ab Pike can be done on a swiss ball, an ab wheel, TRX bands, small dogs that bark a lot, or whatever else floats your boat (I’m joking about the small dogs that bark a lot…don’t do ab pikes on dogs…). Do this by planking and putting your legs up on your item of choice (again no dogs) and keep your legs straight and pull your butt, bottom, glutes, or whatever you call them up.
Aim for 3 sets of 8.
3. Swiss Ball Rollout
The swiss ball rollout is the other half of the ab pike.
If you’re feeling like you really want to destroy your abs super-set this with the ab pike….just remember I warned you it would destroy your abs…This exercise is the other exercise the study (1) mentioned as being one of the best exercises to do with a swiss ball.
This exercise has you start on your knees instead and has you “roll out” by pushing forward and extending your arms. Keep your core tight and back straight during this exercise like the gentleman in the image above.
Do 3 sets of 8. Super-set with Ab Pike if you are feeling like a demi-god
4. Cable Crunch
Cable crunches are another great ab exercise.
Check out this video to see how to properly do kneeling ones. You can also do standing ones but personally, I like the kneeling ones better. When doing these make sure your curling your back, tucking your chin in and really “squeezing” your abs as you pull down with them.
Aim for 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
If you can still do another exercise after the other 4 then finish with V-ups.
I consider V-ups as sit-ups on steroids. These bad boys really force you to squeeze your abs in order to pull yourself up to touch your toes. I usually go a little slower than the woman in the video because I find I feel it more and my cores more engaged.
Do 3 sets of 30 seconds
(Get an interval timer and set an interval for 30 seconds and 30 seconds. Work for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds)
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