Today’s article is a routine of 4 awesome abdominal exercises carefully chosen to target both the upper and lower abs. This combination will strengthen your core. One important thing to remember is that the key to getting “abs” is your diet/nutrition. The old saying that “abs are made in the kitchen” is definitely true. However, one you get your body fat down to a low level, you need a solid exercise routine to make them pop!
Exercise #1: Leg Raises
- Lie on the floor, flat on your back with your legs straight in front of you.
- Place your hands at your sides by the floor for support.
- Flex your abdominal muscles, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Retaining tension on the abs, lower your legs to the beginning position, with your heels about 2” off the ground to maintain full tension on the abdominals.
Exercise #2: Knee-Ins
- Sit on the floor and lean back slightly. Extend your legs in front of you, keeping your hands at your sides.
- Keep your knees together and pull your knees in towards your chest until you can go no farther.
- Maintain tension on your lower ab muscles and return to the start position and repeat the movement until you have completed your set. Slow and controlled is the key.
Exercise #3: Crunches
- Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs in front of you bent at the knees.
- Place your hands across your chest.
- Raise your shoulders and torso off the ground in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor.
- Maintain full control throughout the movement. Slow and controlled reps are key.
Exercise #4: Reverse Crunch
- Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
- Place a kettlebell or dumbbell behind your head and grasp it with your hands as an anchor.
- Slowly flex your abs and bring your knees up to your elbows, as you hold onto the anchor (kb or db).
- Return your legs to the starting position slowly, and bring your torso back to the floor.
Programming this Routine to get ready for Summer
Let’s plan on a 10 week ramp-up, just in time for your trip to the beach on the 4th of July!
- Week 1:3 days, perform 3 sets of 10 reps
- Week 2:3 days, perform 3 sets of 12 reps
- Week 3:3 days, perform 3 sets of 15 reps
- Week 4:3 days, perform 3 sets of 18 reps
- Week 5:3 days, perform 4 sets of 10 reps
- Week 6:3 days, perform 4 sets of 12 reps
- Week 7:3 days, perform 4 sets of 15 reps
- Week 8:4 days, perform 3 sets of 15 reps
- Week 9:4 days, perform 3 sets of 15 reps
- Week 10:5 days, perform 3 sets of 15 reps
Please remember that if you are serious about getting abs, it starts with nutrition. You have to get your nutrition dialed in. Stick to a healthy, nutritious diet, strength train with intensity, use cardio with intelligence (more is NOT better) and crank your abs with this routine. And then rock your mid-section on the 4th of July!!!