If you’re looking for maximum ab definition, there’s something that you should know. As much as it seems counterintuitive, training your abs with endless sets of ab-specific exercises on every workout won’t give you the strong six-pack you want, nor will it help you get rid of your belly fat. Here’s a much smarter way to train for a leaner midsection.
Muscles grow when they’re loaded beyond their capacity. However, you don’t need 30 different exercises and tons of reps to achieve this – a few sets of 4-5 optimally challenging exercises that target the right muscles will be more than enough, especially if you make sure to really focus on the contraction. You should train your abs the same way you would any other muscle group, only more frequently, as these muscles are able to recover quickly. If you want truly great results, make sure you hit them 4-5 times per week.
Below you’ll find a carefully crafted routine that will help you get your abs in the best shape possible in no time. It’s going to hurt a lot, but the gains will be more than worth the trouble, so be sure to give it a try!
#1. Roman-Chair Crunches: 4 x 15-20
Sit facing up on a back extension bench with your shins touching the ankle pads. Extend back at the hips until your torso is below parallel with the floor and then crunch up by squeezing your abs. Perform the movement under maximum control, slowly lowering the body and explosively bringing it back up. Hook your feet underneath the supports to gain more control and stability.
#2. Hanging Knee Raises: 3 X 15-20
Grab a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip and completely straight arms. Engage your core and use your abs to slowly raise your knees toward your shoulders. Maximize the squeeze on each rep. Make sure to maintain a straight spine all through the movement and avoid swinging of the torso.
#3. Hanging Twisting Knee Raises: 2 X 10
Grab the pull-up bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Once you’re hanging with your feet off the floor, pull your knees up and across to the left side of your body, keeping the knees and feet together. Slowly lower them back down after pausing for a second, then raise them up and across to the right side of your body. Repeat.
#4.1 Seated V-Ups: 3 X 10-15
Sit on the edge of a bench with a straight back and extended legs, gripping the bench for stability and keeping your feet together and your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Squeeze your abs and lift your legs up toward your chest. Go as far as possible without bending the knees, then lower them back down and repeat. Avoid rounding your back.
#4.2 Standing Cable Rope Crunches: 4 X 15-20
Attach a rope to a high pulley, select the desired weight and take the rope behind your head with both hands. Extend your arms fully and lock them into position, then tighten your abs as hard as you can and bend over at the waist, lowering your torso toward your feet. Hold the peak bottom squeeze for two seconds before returning to the starting position.
Perform the first three exercises at every ab session. For the fourth exercise, alternate seated V-ups and standing cable rope crunches every other week.
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Don’t forget – if too much body fat is covering your abs, no definition will show. But if you make sure to get your diet in order in addition to performing this workout regularly, we guarantee that you’ll be blown away by the results.