Lets get down to it.
You want abs. Not just abs, but awesome abs. You don’t want to waste time, money and effort on useless gizmos and doohickeys that promise the world but deliver so little. Well gents, here it is plain and simple, the very same exercises I used (and continue to use) to sculpt, pummel and polish my abs into shape.
Time to get lean and mean!!
Note: Perform 3 sets of each exercise. Seek medical advice before performing any exercise!!!
EXERCISE 1: Weighted floor crunches
This exercise is so simple. It hardly needs an introduction. Everybody knows about crunches. Probably the most well known ab exercise around. Regular bodyweight crunches are fine, but if you really want those suckers to pop you need to add a little weight. No need to add tons of weight though. You’re just thickening them up a little. (Particularly if you have very flat abs and want the groves to be more defined and visible).
If you want chiseled and stronger abs add some weight. Period.
If you already have thick abs however, you can do a few sets of weighted crunches, but I’d stick with regular crunches if I were you for the most part.
To perform, simply do as you would a regular crunch, whilst holding a weight plate, or dumbbell above your chest. You can also position it behind your neck.
Tip: I like using a rep range of around 12-15 reps. If you’re doing bodyweight crunches, go to failure. (The point at which you can’t keep pumping out reps).
EXERCISE 2: Hanging Leg raises
Good old hanging leg raises, another well-known move for the abs. This exercise is targeted towards the lower portion of the abs. Simply grab a chinning bar or anything you can hang from and lift your legs into the air. Make sure you feel it in your lower ab area otherwise you’re wasting your time.
Don’t under any circumstances throw your legs into the air (using momentum) otherwise you’re robbing yourself of any potential benefits. Keep it simple. If you’re not feeling it in your lower ab region then you’re doing it wrong. If you’re not strong enough to keep your legs straight while doing this move, you can keep your knees bent.
Tip: This move will really burn!!! Also your grip will get worked from holding onto the bar. I like to keep the rep ranges slightly higher with this move, given that you are using your bodyweight, 20-30 reps or going to failure should do it.
EXERCISE 3: Seated rope/cable crunches
This is a move I recently started using. In fact it’s currently the only move I do for abs. You can use it in place of the weighted crunch like I do. (If you have access to it). It’s a pretty basic and straightforward move. Perform the same way you would any crunch, only difference is you’re in a seated position instead of flat on your back.
Simply set your butt down on a flat bench, grab the rope from behind and get to work.
Tip: Really contract and squeeze the abs hard during this movement. Feel the burn. I like to keep the range between 12-15 reps.
BONUS EXERCISE : Lower back raises
This isn’t really an exercise for the abs as such. But if you’re working your front (abs) you need to work your back (lower back) to keep the balance. People that only focus on their abs and neglect their lower backs are foolish.
Only developing the abs without attention to the lower back is one of the biggest causes of injury. This exercise might not develop your abs like the others in this article, but it sure as hell will save you from avoidable lower back strains in the future. Think about it. You always hear about somebody tweaking their back. Heck, the doctors’ surgeries are full of people with lower back problems.
To perform, simply lie on your front, on the ground. Slowly lift both your upper torso and legs off the ground in conjunction with each other. Really feel the stretch in the lower back.
Tip: I like to keep the rep range around 10- 12 reps. Remember you don’t need to kill yourself on this move. It’s more of an injury prevention exercise than a strength / shaping one.
So there you have it. Moves for sculpting “Awesome Abs”. Pretty simple and basic. No hitting abs from 50 different angles using 50 different exercises.
It’s up to you to try them out. You can either incorporate them into an awesome abs routine of their own to blast your abs, or use my preferred method of picking one move and adding it onto the end of your regular training sessions, rotating exercises when you feel like. Choice is yours.
Now we’ve covered myths in part 1 and exercises in part 2, but none of these exercises will make any difference, unless you shed the dough. (Not the bucks / dollars! hint, hint).
In part 3 we’ll cover simple diet strategies to set you straight.
Don’t forget to subscribe. You don’t want to miss Awesome Abs part 3.
SWEAT AND GUTS
Photo Credit: uncagetheanimal.com