If you’ve crunched, twisted, and contorted your abs into oblivion, yet haven’t seen results in the same ionosphere as what you’ve come to expect, chances are that your abs workout is a) ineffective, b) incomplete, c) playing-with-baby-kittens easy, or d) on life support and in desperate need of a massive re-invigoration.
Fret not, we’ve got the solution for ineffective abs workout syndrome — a fresh new, non-crunch based abs workout routine that’ll slice and dice your abs into fresh new growth. Shred up your core with this abs routine 3x per week, every week, through the end of December and you’ll be sure to burst into 2013 with all signs pointing towards a lean, iron-clad, drop dead sexy six-pack.
Note — Even the most incredible, Michaelangelo-esque abs won’t show up if your body fat isn’t at-or-near single digits. To quickly incinerate body fat, do HIIT cardio a few times per week.
[WOTM, 12/12] The Slice And Dice, Shredded Abs Workout
*For all sets complete the prescribed number of reps. If you’re unable to complete a full set, continue until failure.
1. Ab Exercise 1 — Swiss Ball Jackknives
2 sets, 15 reps
How to: Place your feet and shins firmly on top of a Swiss ball. Fully extend outwards onto your forearms into full push up position to form a bridge. With your abs tightened, slowly draw in your lower abs and roll the ball inwards towards your hips. Bring the ball in until your quads are perpendicular to the floor, hold for .5 seconds, and return to starting position.
Repeat for 15 reps.
2. Ab Exercise 2 — Bench V Ups
3 sets, 15 reps
How to: Sit on a flat bench so that your body is positioned perpendicular to the long side. Grab the back of the bench, drop your torso, and extend your legs forward so that you form a straight line with your body. Simultaneously draw in your lower abs and crunch your upper abs to form a “V” between your quads and torso. Keep your abs tight and maintain strong posture throughout.
Repeat quickly for 15 reps. Once this is too easy, increase the difficulty by holding a light weight in between your feet.
3. Ab Exercise 3 — Decline Swiss Ball Planks
2 sets, 45 seconds
How to: Place your feet firmly on top of a Swiss ball. Fully extend outwards onto your forearms into full plank position. Brace your abs, tighten your core, and maintain a straight line along the top of your body.
Hold for 45 seconds.
4. Ab Exercise 4 — Swiss Ball Leg Lifts
2 sets, 12 reps
How to: Lie flat on the ground with a Swiss ball in between your ankles. While crunching your upper abs and bracing the center of your abs, slowly squeeze the ball with your ankles and raise it upwards to approximately 75°.
Hold for .5 seconds at the top and return to the ground. Repeat for 12 reps.
4a. [Superset] Mason Twists
2 sets, 25 reps
How to: With a dumbbell/kettlebell in hand, brace your core, balance on your butt, and form a “V” between your torso and quads, which should stay at approximately 45°. While holding the “V” position, vigorously twist from left to right, touching the ground with the weight on either side.
Depending on your individual level of strength, choose a weight that allows you to successfully complete 25 reps. Complete 25 total twists immediately after you finish the preceding set of Swiss ball leg lifts.
5. Ab Exercise 5 — Ab Wheel Rollouts
2 sets, 15 reps
How to: Grab an ab roller and sit on your knees. Brace your abs with a light crunch and slowly roll the wheel out forwards in front of your body. Maintain straight arms and a strong contraction in your abs throughout. Once your lower back starts to sag, powerfully draw the wheel back in towards your body. Be careful not to extend too far, as it can create lower back problems.
Repeat for 15 reps.
6. Ab Exercise 6 — Oblique Side Raises
2 sets, 30 seconds per side
How to: Lie on one side, stack your feet, and place a light dumbbell/weight plate in between both ankles. Contract your obliques and raise both ankles approximately 6″ off the floor. Hold this position as high as possible throughout and release at the end of 30 seconds. Flip over and complete on the opposite side.
Depending on your individual level of strength, choose a weight that allows you to successfully complete 30 seconds per side (or begin with no weight).
7. Ab Exercise 7 — One Arm Alternating Planks
3 sets, 15 seconds per arm
How to: Start in traditional plank position. While bracing your core, raise your right arm straight out in front of your head and simultaneously lift your left foot. Reach out in front and hold this contraction for 15 seconds.
Once you hit 15 seconds immediately switch and complete with your left arm/right leg lifted. Rest briefly and repeat two more sets per arm.