Everyone sure wants them, but very few know how to actually build them. Here’s how to get a ripped core – 8 abdominal workouts that work your abs from all angles.
Let me start by reminding you that visible results will remain elusive if you are not committed to eating clean. If your body fat levels resemble that of a hibernating bear in winter, you will have to prioritize on doing adequate cardio and strength training to help get you lean. Always keep in mind that a great workout can be undone by poor eating habits.
For attaining chiseled abs, perform the following exercises in giant-sets. This means it’s best if you do the exercises one after another continuously without any breaks in-between. You need to commit to training your abs for a minimum of 6 weeks. (That’s just the start of a life long fitness challenge.) You have to include core workouts, oblique workouts, upper ab exercises and lower ab exercises to tone your abs from all sides.
As the weeks pass, your abs will be progressively conditioned to handle harder and higher volumes of training. Your focus should not be on the number of sets performed, but rather on being able to perform one set after another. Ensure you are executing the correct techniques without hurrying through the sets. Do them slowly and deliberately, squeezing your abdominal muscles hard during every flexing motion.
For the first week – 10 reps each, week 2 – 12 reps each, week 3 and 4- 15 reps each, week 5 and 6 – 20 reps each or until failure.
EXERCISE 1: CRUNCH
EXERCISE 2: REVERSE CRUNCH
EXERCISE 3: OBLIQUE CRUNCH
EXERCISE 4: ROPE CRUNCH
EXERCISE 5: OBLIQUE CROSSOVER CRUNCH
EXERCISE 6: DOUBLE CRUNCH
EXERCISE 7: CAPTAIN’S CHAIR LEG RAISES
EXERCISE 8: AIR BICYCLES
Maximize the Burn
For maximizing results while preventing overtraining, aim to do just 2 to 3 abdominal workouts per week in addition to compound lifting. The goal of ab training is to get progressively stronger and fitter as the days pass. For your weighted exercises the weight added should be on an upward trend. For your unweighted exercises, ensure that you are increasing the number of reps you can do. As stated earlier, remember to use a deliberate motion and focus on an intense contraction as you perform each exercise. You’re using too much weight if you can’t perform at least 10 reps. If you can do over 15 reps, it’s time to add an extra 5 pounds.
If you are not upto executing giant sets yet, you can try exercise circuits. Consider exercise “circuits” consisting of 3 exercises done back-to-back. You can take a minute’s break before starting on the next set of ab exercises. You can also perform these ab circuits in between sets of major muscle groups. For example:a set of deadlifts followed by an ab circuit and then a minute of rest before another set of deadlift and ab circuit…and so forth. A good goal to work toward is 3 ab circuits per ab workout, 2 to 3 workouts per week.
Following up your abdominal workouts with a 30 minute cardio session is great idea for maximizing the burn. Start with a 2 minute warm up and go for a high intensity workout for 15 minutes and then slow down to about 50% of your full capacity, finally slow down to cool off in the last two minutes.