While the amount of detail in your abs is most directly related to what you eat, don’t fool yourself into thinking that training them hard has somehow gone out of style. Blasting your abs with challenging and constantly varying workouts is crucial if you expect to have a middle worth showing off.
Too often, we become stuck in the same array of exercises, sets and reps, allowing the miracle of adaptation to rob us of any potential gains in muscle quality. By stepping things up and implementing more intense training protocols, you can swiftly enhance the appearance of your sixer.
This six-move abs workout, broken into two three-move tri-sets, will hit your upper, lower and side abs, as well as the deep-lying muscles of your core, to fire up your midsection so that your body has no choice but to make these crucial muscles bigger, stronger and more defined.
Do this workout twice a week for a month, increasing the weight or reps each week, and you’ll sculpt lean hard abs. To work your abs harder, engage them before the first rep of each set so that they work to stabilise your core.
Dumbbell crunch reach:
Targets: upper abs Sets: 3 Reps: 12 Rest: 10sec
- Lie flat on your back with knees bent, holding a dumbbell in both hands.
- Use your abs to crunch up, keeping your arms straight to raise the weight as high as you can.
- Hold this top position, then slowly lower your torso back to the start.
Targets: lower abs Reps: 12 Rest: 10sec
- Lie on your back with hands by your head or your sides.
- With your feet together, raise them as high as you can, while keeping your legs straight.
- Keep the tension on your lower abs as you slowly lower them back to the start.
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Targets: core Reps: 30 Rest: 2min
- Start in a press-up position.
- Without letting your hips sag, draw one knee up and bring it across towards your elbow.
- Return to the start, then repeat with your other leg.
- That’s one rep.
- Keep reps fast but controlled.
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Targets: core Sets: 3 Reps: 12 Rest: 10sec
- Lie with your fingers by your temples and feet off the floor.
- Draw your knees in towards your chest as your crunch your torso up so your elbows go past your knees.
- Lower back to the start.
- Don’t let your heels touch the floor.
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Seated dumbbell Russian twist:
Targets: core Reps: 12 Rest: 10sec
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet slightly raised, holding a dumbbell in front of you.
- Twist to one side, pause, and then twist back to the other and then return to the middle.
- That’s one rep.
- Aim to keep your feet off the floor throughout.
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Targets: core Reps: 6 each side Rest: 2min
- Start in a press-up position with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Keeping your core tight, lift one weight and rotate your torso to point it straight up.
- Your head should follow the weight.
- Reverse the move to the start, and alternate your lifting arm with each rep.