Everybody wants to know the secret to great abs well I am going to give it to you! I’ve provided you with the best abs exercises that will shape 3D Abs.
I’ve been told by many peers and top fitness professionals in the industry that I have some of the abs around. That is very flattering, but I have worked for it and I’m happy to share efforts here. I do my five favourite ab exercises regularly – 2 to 3 times a week – and I believe that they have helped me create some of the most defined abs around.
1. Kneeling Cable Crunches
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To build thickness in your abs you need to overload these muscles and there’s no better way to do this than by using added resistance as supplied by a cable machine. I use about 70 to 75% of my maximum weight.
Grab the rope and pull it down with your hands positioned above your forehead. Crunch down as far as you can go keeping your hands in the same position.
When I crunch down my objective is to move low enough so that my head is about to touch my knees. Make sure your abs are doing the work and not your arms. Bring your body back up slowly to the start position and repeat. I’ll do this exercise really slowly to really engage my core. Do: 5 sets of 30 reps or to failure
2. Mason Twists
I’ll do this exercise with a basketball. Sit on the floor with your legs extended but slightly bent and with heels a few cms off the ground. Lean back at your waist slightly and hold your body in an upright position.
You can do the exercise without resistance, but I like to use a little bit of weight so I use a basketball. I’ll hold the ball in both hands and will the touch the floor with it as I twist left and then right.
Do: 30 touches to the left and the right – 5 sets. This exercise really works the obliques!
3. High Knees
This exercise in a nutshell is basically running in place. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, then lift and drive each leg down alternatively up and down, keeping a good rhythm. Lift each thigh to a position parallel to the ground.
Make sure your arms work in conjunction with your legs – maintain a a 90- degree angle at your elbows and pump them back and forward in time with your legs. Work out at about 70% effort.
This is a great ab exercise and will also develop some CV fitness.
Do: 30 seconds for 5 sets.
4. Short Sprints
More sprints for your abs? Well, you just have to look at the abs on elite speed men and women to see how the activity develops great and functional abs! Consistent sprinting will make your ab bellies thicker – I attribute my prominent abs to many years of sprinting. This is because when sprinting your abs have to work really hard to control the forces being generated and transmitted through your limbs.
Do: 5 x 50m sprints with a walk back recovery.
5. leg Raise (Roman Chair/Wall Bars/Chinning bar)
Whichever method you use the aim is to lift your straight legs to a position parallel to the ground. I will often add weight to this exercise either by way of a weight lifting belt or by holding a dumbbell between my legs. Only progress to this once you can perform the exercise without weight.
Note: performing the exercise whilst hanging from a chinning bar is the hardest version as you have to ‘hold’ yourself in position. All versions target the lower abs and hip flexors.
Do: 30 repetitions or until failure for 5 sets
If possible I like to add resistance to my ab exercises – this will help to build that thick 3-D abdominal wall. Remember the thicker your abs bellies are the better chances are that your abs will still be visible even if you are carrying a little more fat around this area than you would probably like to.
I estimate that this equates to body fat levels of 12 to 13% for men and 14 to 16 percent for women. But if you don’t have thick abs bellies then as a guy you probably won’t see them (your abs) until your body-fat is 10% or lower and for a woman 12%.
Remember even by implementing my 5 3-D ab exercises you still need to be on a proper nutrition programme to help you get lean enough body-fat wise to be able to see your abs come out of hiding!