What should I do for my ab workout?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Abs are made in the kitchen,” and I couldn’t agree more with that. But once you’ve got your nutrition on point, where do you go from there? The question I get from many people, once they’ve gotten everything in the kitchen under control, is “How do I build my abs?”  A lot of people tell me they are simply doing a few sets of crunches at the end of every workout, but unfortunately, that’s not going to get you the results you want if you are really looking to build up your abs. The abdominals are used to help support your body all day long. Even when we don’t realize it, our abs are working to help keep us sitting, standing, and walking upright. Your abs are actually used in virtually every single exercise you do at the gym! So if you want to really work your abs specifically and make them stand out, you’ve got to challenge them.

Make sure your ab workout consists of at least 3 different exercises of at least 3 sets each. My ab workouts usually vary between 3 and 4 exercises and 3-5 sets of each exercise. Try to use one exercise for each main area of the abdominals. Ideally, you will want to have exercises that focus on your transverse abdominis (inner ab muscles), your rectus abdominis (external or “six pack” ab muscles), and your internal and external obliques as well. Below is an example of a program I used last month for my ab workouts. I did this workout 3-4 times a week with one day rest in between and made sure to increase either the weight and/or reps each workout. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Hanging leg raise                                               4 x 8-12

Russian twists                                                    4 x 15-20

Decline sit ups with medicine ball                       4 x 8-12

Ab rollouts                                                          4 x 10-15

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