The 9 Best Ab Workouts
by Court under Exercise
To improve the way your abs look, you need to improve the way they perform. You need to make them stronger and you need to make them more endurant. This isn’t going to happen if you do 20 slow sit ups per day. You have to work them with intensity.
It should take you 18 days to get through these 9 workouts. You should do one every other day. You will build more strength in your abs if you take a recovery day in between workouts.
#1 – 100 Sit Ups For Time
The first ab workout that you should do is 100 full sit ups for time – that’s right, you should time yourself. This will help you to get an idea of exactly where you’re starting out. Some of you may be able to do 100 full sit ups in less than three minutes. Others may take 20 minutes. Others may not be able to complete 100 sit ups. If that is the case for you, your score is the maximum number of repetitions you can complete in 20 minutes. Just keep trying for 20 minutes!
This seems simple, but I can promise you that it’s a pretty ridiculous ab workout. The first time I tried it, it took me over 10 minutes and my abs were smoked. The last time I did it, my time was 3:46, a huge improvement.
This video will show you how to properly do full sit ups. You can do them with or without an ab mat:
#2 – 5 Max Effort Front Planks on Elbows (timed)
To stimulate the best results in your abs, you have to work them out with a LOT of variety. You want to hit them from different angles and from different metabolic pathways (systems your body uses to deliver energy to your muscles). I won’t bore you with the details of that – just hit these workouts in order from 1-9, every other day. I’ll make sure that the science is taken care of.
Front planks give your abs a completely different look and produce incredible results.
This workout is simple. Hold a front plank for as long as possible. Repeat for 5 reps. Rest for two minutes in between reps. Time each rep and record. Your time might be two seconds and if it is, that’s ok. You will get better as you start repeating workouts.
#3 – Double Tabata Leg Raises
Tabata is a way of timing a workout to target a specific type of energy delivery. For a tabata, you work out as hard as possible for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds, repeated eight times. That means that a full tabata workout takes 4 minutes.
For this workout, we’re going to do a double tabata which means we’re doing 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 minutes. The movement for this workout is leg raises (see note below the video if you want to make this workout a LOT more challenging). I don’t care if you can do two leg lifts or 25 leg lifts in 20 seconds, I just want your best effort. Keep track of your score for the next time you do #3. Your score is the total reps you completed in 8 minutes.
To significantly increase the difficulty of this workout, you can lift your hips off the floor at the top of the movement.
#4 – 10 Rounds, 14 Russian Twists + 30 Mountain Climbers
This workout is really going to hit the obliques and lower abs. You start by doing 14 Russian Twists and follow that up with 30 mountain climbers. You will repeat for 10 rounds.
Your score is either the amount of time it took you to complete the workout, or the number of rounds you completed if you can’t complete the workout.
Tips for Russian Twists:
- Some of you will need to do the movement with your feet on the floor for now. That’s ok. You’ll be able to pick up your feet later when you have more strength in your abs. Work toward that.
- If you don’t have a medicine ball, use something from around the house. You could use a dumbell, a box of books, whatever you want.
- If you can’t use a medicine ball yet, don’t. Do it without and simply touch your hands to the floor on each side.
- You count a rep on each side (touch down on the left side – 1 rep, touch down on the right – 2 reps, left – 3 reps, etc.)
- Rest as needed. You don’t have to do all 14 at once but I want as much effort as possible.
Tip for Mountain Climbers
- Do these as quickly as possible, but rest as needed. Very few people will be able to complete 10 rounds without stopping. Most will have to stop a LOT.
#5 – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Arm-Swing Sit Ups with 10 Burpees Between Each Set
You’ll be amazed how much adding burpees ups the difficulty of this workout. I’m not only going to allow you to swing your arms for these sit ups, I demand that you do. This workout is designed to take advantage of full-body output.
You start by doing 10 arm-swing sit ups and you then do 10 burpees. You then do nine sit ups followed by 10 burpees. You then do eight sit ups followed by 10 burpees, and so on until you complete the round of one.
Arm-Swing Sit Ups:
Burpees (I clap at the top of mine, but that’s just my preference):
Workouts 6-9 will be available Apr 11, 2012
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