APART FROM FOLLOWING a diet made up exclusively of pizza and beer, the worst mistake a man can make when training for abs is clinging to the same old exercises for way too long. Crunches, situps, and planks are fine, but they’re not the only tools you need to sharpen your midsection.
The good news? Adding new abs moves to your workouts won’t necessarily add time to them. In fact, we’ll show you how to get more variety in your training in even less time than you’re used to.
How it works
Your core (the abs and lower-back muscles that work in conjunction with them) is complex. In addition to bending your torso forward, as in a situp, your core is also responsible for straightening and extending your spine, as well as twisting your torso and hips, and stabilizing your body. Unless you train all these functions, you won’t develop your core completely. To help you forge the strongest, most defined core possible, we’ve put together three different circuits of three moves each that work the core from all angles. You’ll do the exercises without rest in-between, which raises your heart rate and accelerates fat loss. After all, no matter how ripped your abs are, you won’t see all that progress if they’re covered in fat.
Just tack these circuits onto the end of your normal workouts.
Perform one of the three circuits (I, II, and III) at the end of each workout. (Use a different circuit each day.) Complete one set of each exercise in sequence, resting one minute after the last one. Repeat once more. After two weeks, increase the number of circuits: In Week 3, perform three circuits; in Week 4, do four circuits; then do five circuits in Week 5.
1. Hanging Legs Raise
Reps: 8–12 Rest: 0 sec.
Hang from a pullup bar with palms facing forward or each other—whichever is more comfortable. Contract your abs and raise your legs to meet the bar. Do it fast, as if you’re trying to kick the bar. Control the descent.
2. Abs Wheel Rollout [shown above]
Reps: 8–15 Rest: 0 sec.
Kneel on the floor and hold an abs wheel in front of you by its handles. The wheel should be directly under your shoulders. Brace your abs and roll the wheel forward until you feel you’re about to lose tension in your abs. Pull the wheel back.
3. Back Extension
Reps: 10–12 Rest: 60 sec.
Set up on a back extension bench so your legs are locked in place and the pad is under your hips. Bend your torso forward as far as you can without rounding your back. Then extend your hips until your torso is straight.