eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Dance your way to hot, sexy abs and burn the fat off your entire
body with Shaun T
Click to learn how!
Its no surprise that one of the most
frequently asked questions I receive is, "what can I do to work my abs with
more intensity?" I decided to give you an abdominal routine that will
strengthen and harden your abs without my usual anatomy lesson. Just the
routine! Hard core and no nonsense!
First, lets get one thing clear. If
you want your abs to be visible, or if you want the legendary six pack, then
you must reduce overall body fat, including abdominal fat! There is no other
way to get the washboard look. This is accomplished through a nutrition program
that places you in a slight caloric deficit, includes weight training to
stimulate the metabolism and incorporates supplemental cardio to burn
additional calories. Hammer this concept deep!
If you already know this and want a routine
that is effective and produces results, then youve come to the right
After providing a description of each
exercise and an explanation, I will tell you exactly how I want you to perform
it as well as how frequently. The key to any exercise is not the actual
movement, but the level of intensity that you give it. Thats another
point you want to hammer in.
Ab Exercise Descriptions
1. REVERSE AB CURL
Lie on the floor with your back relaxed and your
hands on the floor by your hips. Keep the upper back pressed into the floor
throughout the exercise. Contracting your abs, raise your butt and gently roll
your hips off the floor -- stopping when you feel a full contraction of the
abdominals and can no longer lift your hips. Slowly return to the starting
position. Exhale while lifting your hips and inhale while returning to the
This exercise is for the lower abdominal.
Im always amazed by how many people start their ab routine with some sort
of a crunch movement for the upper abs. Yet, most of the complaints I receive
pertain to the lower portion of the abs. In this case, we start with the
2. DOUBLE CRUNCH
Lie on the floor face up. Bend your knees
until your legs are at a 45-degree angle with both feet on the floor. Your back
should be comfortably relaxed on the floor.
Place both hands crossed gently over your
chest. Contracting your abdominals, raise your head and legs off the floor
toward one another. Crunch hard and tight! I want you to hold the contraction
at the top of the movement for one second. Slowly return to the starting
position -- stopping just short of your shoulders and feet touching the floor.
Exhale while rising up and inhale while returning to the starting position.
Keep your eyes on the ceiling to avoid pulling with your neck. This exercise
will affect both the upper and lower abs with more of a focus on the upper
3. INCLINE BENCH LEG
Now, we return to the lower abs! Lie on an
incline bench and stabilize your body by gripping the bench above your head
with your legs extended out -- but do not lock your knees. Contracting the
lower abs, raise your legs up until your hips form a 90-degree angle. Slowly
return to the starting position -- stopping just short of your legs touching
the bench. Exhale while lifting your legs and inhale while returning to the
starting position. Point your chin toward the ceiling to avoid using your upper
body. To increase the difficulty, cross your arms over your chest. If you have
a bad back don't perform this movement!
4. CABLE KNEELING ROPE
Back to the upper abs! If you have never
performed this movement, you are in for a treat. It works the abs great and is
easy on the lower back. Kneel in front of the cable machine with your body
facing the machine. Hold a rope attached to the upper cable attachment, and
keep your elbows in. Contracting the abdominals, curl your body downward toward
your legs -- stopping when you have reached a full contraction of your
Slowly return to the starting position --
stopping just short of the weight stack touching. Exhale while lifting the
weight and curling down. Inhale while returning to the starting position.
This exercise works the transversus
abdominis. It will help pull your stomach in, creating more of a flat look!
Its easy and it works. In a seated position, exhale all the air from your
lungs. After completely exhaling, pull the abdomen inward and hold for 20-30
seconds. Continue to breathe lightly through your nostrils, but make sure you
are pulling your abs in as if you are attempting to make your abs and back
For two weeks, perform each movement slowly
and at your own pace. Try for 15 reps on each exercise and take your time
moving from one exercise to the next. Perform only one cycle. A cycle is
defined as performing all the exercises for one set each.
After two weeks, perform each movement in
succession (so that when you finish with one exercise for 15 reps you go
directly to the next exercise without stopping). Dont worry if you
cant get 15 reps. The key is to keep the intensity level high and a
constant contraction on the abs. As you progress, you will be amazed at how
many reps you can perform and how hard and tight your abs get.
After one entire cycle, rest for a minute
and then repeat. Do as many as possible, even if its only a few by the
last exercise. If you are a beginner, then I recommend that you only perform
exercises 1, 2 and 5. For all others, perform three total cycles and expect to
be challenged! Perform the routine 2-3 days a week and never two days in a
Thats it! You asked for a challenging
ab workout and now you have one. Remember to work hard and intensely but always
use perfect form.
A competitive bodybuilder and former
2001 Mr. Connecticut, the author, Raphael Calzadilla, B. A., ACE, RTS1, is a
veteran of the health and fitness industry who specializes in a holistic
approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal
He earned his B.A. in Communications from
Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer
with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program
based on biomechanics.