5 SUMMER-READY ABS WORKOUTS

5 SUMMER-READY ABS WORKOUTS

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If thinking of taking your shirt off on the beach makes your stomach turn, it may be time to get those abs in check. Keep in mind that all the crunches in the world won’t help if your diet consists of grilled cheese sandwiches and candy bars, but combining regular exercise with a healthy diet will have your abs beach-ready in time to soak in some rays this summer.

These five workouts should be done as a series. Weeks one through five and can be done again after the five weeks are up, just start at week one again and work down the list. Workouts can be done on their own or at the end of other larger workouts.

1. Back to Basics

This is an old-school, tried-and-true ab workout—nothing fancy. Give it a try and take the first step toward chiseled abs.

Warmup:

  • Planks
  • Uphill jog on treadmill – 5-minute intervals
  • 3 rounds

Cable Crunches: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.
  • Should be done to near failure, increasing weight each set

60-Degree Incline Straight-Leg Raises: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 13-15
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.

Crunches: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 16-20
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.
  • Hold a 25-35-lb. plate behind your head (drop to just bodyweight if needed)

Lying Side Bends:

  • Sets: 2 each side
  • Reps: To failure
2. Superman Style

A great way to shock stubborn areas of the core is to incorporate supersets and rest-pause into your workout arsenal. They help you push your body to its limits, get full stimulation of all muscle fibers, and force growth to the target muscles.

Warmup: 

  • Walk on treadmill for 10-15 minutes

Rest-Pause Hanging Straight-Leg Raises:

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12, to failure, to failure
  • Rest: 15 sec., 30 sec.

Twisting Cable Crunches: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12

Swiss Ball Crunches: 

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 16-20

Superset with

Lying Side Bends:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: To failure
  • Rest: 45-60 sec.
  • Switch starting side on each superset
3. Pre-Exhaust

Pre-exhausting your abs before doing heavier sets has multiple benefits. You’re properly warmed up for the heavier sets and the heavier sets can be more productive in tearing down the various muscle fiber types.

Warmup: 

  • Russian twists holding a medicine ball
  • Bicycles
  • 3 rounds for max reps

Hanging Knee Hip Raises:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 25-30 or to failure

Superset with

Plank in Pushup Position:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: To failure
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.

Crunch Machine: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: To failure
  • Rest: 45-60 sec.

Hanging Knee Raises: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 45-60 sec.
  • Hold a dumbbell between your feet

Lying Side Bends:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 13-15 each side
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.
  • Hold a 5-10-lb. plate to the side of your head and hold the peak contraction for 1-2 seconds
4. Reps, Reps, Reps

This workout is all about doing as many reps as possible without over-stimulating the muscle. You want to get the metabolism going to give those stubborn abdominals no option but to grow and shape.

Warmup: 

  • HIIT on treadmill – 1 min. run, 2 min. fast walk, for a total of 15 min,
  • Jackknives – to failure
  • 3 sets

Decline Barbell Crunches:

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 13-15
  • Rest: 45-60 sec.

Cable Crunches:

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 16-20
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.

Hanging Knee Raises: 

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 21-25
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.

70-Degree Incline Straight-Leg Hip Raises:

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: to failure
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.
5. Ab-omination

If you want to leave your abs quivering and gasping for air, this is the workout for you. Don’t do this workout more than once every two to three months as it will take that long to recover when done properly. Bare minimum rest should be taken between sets.

Warmup:

  • Standing Russian twists with broomstick on shoulders – 25-50 reps per side
  • Bicycles – to failure
  • 3 rounds

Cable Crunches:

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12

Superset with

Crunch Machine:

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.

Twisting Cables Crunches:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Dropset: 2
  • Reps: 6-8
  • Rest: 45-60 sec.

Rest-Pause Decline Barbell Crunches: 

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 6-8, 6-8, to failure, to failure
  • Rest: 15 sec. 15 sec., 30 sec.

Lying Leg Raises:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12

Superset with

Supported Knee Raises:

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 30-45 sec.

Decline Side Bends:

  • Sets: 1 each side
  • Reps: to failure

BY MAXIMILIAN ANGLE, CPT