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[Workout Plans] Forge Elite Abs With This Advanced, Next-Level Six Pack Routine

[Workout Plans] Forge Elite Abs With This Advanced, Next-Level Six Pack Routine

Challenge is essential to growth and change. When it comes to excavating adamantine, rolling, billowing ab mounds, graduating from vanilla crunches, sit-ups, and leg lifts is an absolute must.

You can do better than that, and your stomach deserves better jet fuel to power robust growth and craftsmanship; all you need is a blueprint to outline the path. Our intense, advanced six-pack routine is designed to pump up the difficulty, help you break through any hurdles, and forge elite, next-level abs.

This plan is not for the feint of heart. It’s an agonizing, 10 exercise split that’s engineered to drill the core from multiple angles, chisel out the lower abs, obliques, and rectus abdominis (the “6-pack muscles,” aka the middle and upper abs), and compress the entire midsection. Apologies in advance if it feels like Mike Tyson punched you in the gut the next day.

As with all ab plans, your hard work WILL go unnoticed if there’s a ring of blubber bloating your waistline. Diet is the overwhelming driver; for a primer, read the first section here.


Forge Elite Abs With This Advanced, Next-Level Six Pack Routine

Forge Elite Abs With This Advanced, Next-Level Six Pack Routine

Perform each exercise in order for the prescribed number of sets and reps. Push yourself to complete the full routine, but if it’s too difficult at first, scale back and gradually ramp up as your core becomes stronger. exercise names for video demos.



1. Swiss Ball Weighted Crunches

Target Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis, Obliques

Complete 15 ball crunches down the center, and 10 per side, for a total of 35 reps per set.

Hold a light dumbbell or weight plate behind your head for each movement and gradually increase the weight as your core becomes stronger.

Swiss Ball Weighted Crunches


2. Hanging Knee Raises

Target Muscle(s): Lower Abs, Obliques

Dead hang from a bar with a wide grip, contract your lower abs, and draw your knees upward into your chest. Hold for .5s and lower down to a full extension. Do 12 reps down the center, and 10 per side, for a total of 32 reps per set.

Don’t swing or use momentum — maintain control and slowly contract/release throughout the movement.

Hanging Knee Raises


3. Weighted Cable Woodchoppers

Target Muscle(s): Obliques, Rectus Abdominis

Complete 15 woodchoppers per side. Set the cable so that it’s level with the center of your core.

Maintain straight arms and strong posture, contract your obliques, and powerfully torque your torso, dragging the cable across your body. Under control, SLOWLY twist back, allowing your abs to grind and resist the backwards pull


4. The Lower Abs Trifecta (LAT)

Target Muscle(s): Lower Abs

Complete two full cycles of the Lower Abs Trifecta (LAT), detailed in-depth here.

LAT consists of 15 pulse ups, 12 reverse crunches, and a 60 second ab V hold supersetted back-to-back.

Ab Pulse Ups


5. Bicycle Crunches

Target Muscle(s): Obliques, Rectus Abdominis

Alternate each side one after another for a total of 45 seconds per set.

Contract your obliques as your crunch through and hold the squeeze momentarily. Try to touch your elbow to your knee, and kick your foot out as far as possible when extending.

Bicycle Crunch


6. One Arm Planks

Target Muscle(s): Transverse Abdominis

From a traditional plank position, raise your right arm out in front of your head. Reach out as far as possible to stretch your core and obliques.

Hold the reach for 15s and then complete 15s for the left side. Repeat 15s again per side for a total of 2 holds per side (1 minute). That’s 1 set.

One Arm Planks


7. Swiss Ball Jackknives

Target Muscle(s): Lower Abs

Start in push up position with your body fully extended and feet on top of a Swiss ball. Contract your lower abs, maintain a flat back and tight core, and draw the ball in towards your butt.

Kick all the way out and repeat for 15 reps. Immediately move on to 7a and complete a set of Decline Swiss Ball Planks.

Swiss Ball Jackknives


7a. Decline Swiss Ball Planks

Target Muscle(s): Transverse Abdominis

Immediately after completing 15 jackknives, place your forearms on the ground and pivot to plank position.

Maintain a tight core and flat back; hold for 45 seconds. That’s 1 superset.

Decline Swiss Ball Planks.


8. Swiss Ball Weighted Oblique Crunches

Target Muscle(s): Obliques

Lie on your side on top of a Swiss ball. Stagger your feet to maintain stability and hold a light dumbbell or weight plate behind your head.

Crunch through your obliques and lats and squeeze for 1s at the top. On the way down lower to a full extension. Complete 15 reps per side.

Swiss Ball Oblique Crunches


9. Overhead Decline Weighted Sit-Ups

Target Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis

Lie on a decline bench and hold a medicine ball out in front of your chest. Keep your arms as straight as possible throughout.

Contract your abs, sit up, and raise the ball up as far as possible. Return down to the bottom so that your upper back touches the bench; your abs should fully extend. Complete 20 reps.


10. Cable Crunches

Target Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis

Attach a rope attachment to a cable stack and set the weight so that it’s challenging, but let’s you complete the set. Hold the rope next to your head and powerfully crunch down into your belly button.

Hold the squeeze for 1s, fully extend back up to the top, and repeat for 15 reps.

Once completed you’re done with the full workout.

Cable Crunches


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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • j

    How often do you recommend this routine? and is it everything on the list every time?

    • Yep, do everything in order each workout.

      Do it every 3 days, max, to give your abs time to recover, repair and grow.

      For instance – if you do it on Monday, don’t do it again until Thursday, and then again on Sunday. Depending on how it falls, you should be doing it 2-3x per week.

  • Taylor

    I want to start this workout to help strengthen and enhance my rock climbing. One of the most important things in climbing is your core. With just starting this out should I first reduce the number of sets. Or should I try to complete the workout and adjust from there?

    • I would definitely try to run through it in full at least once and then adjust down from there. You’ll be able to gauge where you stand. Over time, as your abs get stronger, work your way up to the full routine.

      It’s advanced though, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do it all at first.

      And if there’s an exercise you can’t do altogether, feel free to cut it out & add it back later, or replace it with something more basic (e.g. Hanging Leg Raises – you can replace them with reverse crunches for an easier variation)

  • Arun

    I’m a bit confused about excercise #1 (Swiss Ball Weighted Crunches): “Complete 15 ball crunches down the center, and 10 per side”.

    How do you do the side version of these? Are they just same as exercise #8 (Swiss Ball Weighted Oblique Crunches)?

  • youareahypocrite

    how often should this be done, right now I’m doing it every other day, and the results are IMPRESSIVE, however they are not PRISTINE, I want them pristine, and am dedicated. Please advise.

    • youareahypocrite

      nevermind you posted the answer below in reply to someone else lol

      • Either way, I LOVE your drive and dedication. That perfectionist attitude is what’ll take your body to elite levels; just try not to kill yourself in the process (and take an occasional rest day!).

        PRISTINE also comes from diet & your normal workout routine — keep doing the abs routine every other day as you have been (and don’t be afraid to switch up some of the exercises occasionally), but honestly examine the rest of your lifestyle and determine what might be able to be improve.

        It could be nothing, and you just need a bit more time — healthy, progressive change takes a few months. Stay the course.

  • Varun Bhatt

    how many sets should we do of each exercise?

    • Sets + reps are all listed in the table at the top. Right above exercise 1 you’ll see it.

  • Aubrey Hall

    How long should you rest between sets and exercises?

    • Keep it brief — 15-30s after every set. You’ll need longer after each LAT set. As your abs get stronger they’ll need less recovery time.

  • Gurjot Tutt

    hey guys if you want to LOSE WEIGHT or GET ABS check this website out….