The abdominals are obviously an eye-pleasing area on the body, but they also serve a very functional purpose in stabilizing most body movements. Problem is, most people use the same abdominal training program week to week, with little change in their body aesthetics.
Most abdominal workouts are suggested to be completed at the end of your strength or cardio workout session.
So following up your regular workout, replace one of your typical ab day routines with these new ideas.
RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
With a running clock, set to beep at :20 seconds of work/:10 seconds of rest, complete prone plank holds on hands or elbows, (your choice). * Repeat this pattern for 4 minutes.
Keep the midline tight, glutes turned on, and head in neutral position. Focus on breathing throughout the :20 second work effort. During the :10 second rest, drop to your knees and shake out your arms. Try not to strain the neck and jaw muscles.
*To add to the difficulty of the plank hold position, alternate touching your opposite shoulder with your opposite hand during the :20 second work period.
Rest 2-3 minutes before completing this next superset. Find a bench and a 5-10# dumbbell. Lie back on the bench, reaching your arms overhead gripping the side of the bench with your hands.
Squeeze 1 dumbbell between your feet or ankles (or wear ankle weights). Keeping your glutes engaged and your lower back plastered down to the bench, raise your straightened legs up to a 45 degree angle above your body, before slowly lowering them down to a low enough position where you can still keep your lower back intact with the bench-and your legs straight.
Complete 3 sets to failure. When you reach failure with the dumbbell, drop the dumbbell and squeeze out a few more reps with just your body weight. Immediately after finishing a set of the weighted leg raises, grab a 20# medicine ball or 2, 10 lb. dumbbells, and sit on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees to complete Russian Twists.
Lean back to a 45 degree angle with arms slightly extended out front holding the medicine ball or dumbbells, then slowly shift your arms from side to side across your body, touching the ball or weights to the floor with the count of each rep. Look straight ahead, with neck relaxed, focused on breathing.
Complete 3 supersets of these 2 movements, doing the weighted leg raises to failure and the Russian Twists in reps of 20. Rest 1 minute between each superset.
Finish off this core series with another superset including GHD Back Extensions and Heavy dumbbell farmer’s carry. With the GHD Back Extensions, lie across the machine with your ankles anchored under the foot pads, and your thigh and hip region resting comfortably across the large pads in front.
Knees should be slightly bent, hands relaxed with fingertips placed gently behind the ears, glutes turned on and chest out.
Slowly anchor the feet into the foot pad, as you squeeze your glutes, lock in your hamstrings and lift your torso into an upright position just past 90 degrees of the machine before slowly lowering yourself back down. Repeat this for 5-8 reps.
Then pick up 2 heavy dumbbells, carrying them at your sides, shoulders up and back, chest out, head neutral. Walk at a fast pace in short shuffle steps, for 30 meters out and back before resting 2 minutes. Repeatfor 3 sets.
To see any gains, obviously diet is a big factor in the 6-pack ab visual, but a few other easy fixes can help improve those gains.
One being, standing while completing most body movements in your workout routine can activate more core stability. Also, practicing good posture to prevent a kyphotic body position.
(Slouching or poor flexibility in the chest, thoracic and latissimus areas will create a hunched over stance that can limit the appearance of the abs, as well as prevent effective movement in the frontal plane that will short-change your core building efforts).