[WOTM, 09/2014] Turn Up The Intensity With The Quick-Hitting Abdominal Incinerator Workout
Get ready to blow up your abs in a fiery inferno. September’s WOTM—The Quick-Hitting Abdominal Incinerator Workout—is crackling abdominal dynamite.
Leveraging a flurry of supersets, weights, and vigorous, movement-based exercises, it turns up the intensity and relentlessly pounds the core.
From start to finish the workout is designed as a fast-paced, explosive juggernaut. You’ll spike your heart rate—a prerequisite to slash body fat—pump out streaming sweat waterfalls, AND build muscle tone in the process. The spectrum of movements works to strategically smash the entirety of the core, pull everything in tight, and stimulate all-around growth — including the lower abs, rectus abdominis, obliques, and inner abs (transverse abdominis).
That progression ultimately chisels out strong delineation across the abs and produces a core that’s uber-strong and and well-defined from pecs to pelvis. If you want a sharp V-cut, swerving obliques, or a stacked six-pack, it’ll actively cultivate all 3 over time.
Your abs will be tender and sore, and it’ll hurt to giggle. But they’ll burn with the sweet, sweet taste of a revamped midsection. We’re blowing out the tire around your torso. GETTTTTTTT THOSE ABS.
The Quick-Hitting Abdominal Incinerator Workout
Do the Quick-Hitting Abdominal Incinerator Workout 2-3x per week. Give yourself at least 2 days off in between each workout — your abs need to rest in order to recover and grow. Three quick things before jumping in:
- Rest for 45 secs – 1 minute max in between sets. Try to run through the workout as quickly as possible.
- For any applicable sets, adjust the weight to your own ability and gradually increase it over time. Just like any other muscle group, challenge = growth.
- Our printable infographic of the full workout is available here.
*Click on each applicable exercise name for a full pop-out video demo.
Protocol: 2 sets — 45 reps
Target Muscle(s): Abs (All)
- (1) Lie flat on the floor with your legs extended and hands behind your head.
- (2) Pull your right knee into your chest and simultaneously crunch your left elbow across your body — your knee and elbow should point at each other.
- (3) Immediately kick your right leg out, pull your left leg in, and crunch your right elbow across your body. Repeat for 45 reps (each cross-crunch is 1 rep)
2. [SUPERSET] Sprinters + Planks
Protocol: 2 supersets — 15 reps per side + 60 seconds
Target Muscle(s): Abs (All)
- (1) Ab Sprinters, 15/side — Lie flat on the floor. Explosively contract your core, crunch up, and bring your left knee/right elbow into the center of your body. Return to the floor and continue to alternate sides.
- (2) Ab Planks, 60 seconds — Squeeze your abs and hold a plank for 60 seconds. Keep your body straight and your butt perked up (don’t let it sag).
Protocol: 3 sets — 15 reps/side
Target Muscles: Obliques
- (1) Stand at a cable station with the pulley centered in the middle of your core. Grab the handle with both hands and take a few steps away from the stack — there should be tension.
- (2) With your arms straight, explosively contract your core, twist your body, and bring the cable across your body. The foot closest to the cable stack should pivot (like you’re swinging a baseball bat).
- (3) Slowly release back to the start, allowing your core to grind through the tension. Complete 15 reps and repeat for the opposite side.
4. [SUPERSET] The Lower Abs Trifecta (LAT)
Protocol: 3 supersets — 12 + 12 + 30 seconds
Target Muscle(s): Lower Abs
- (1) Ab Pulse Ups, 12 reps — Lie on a flat bench or on the floor. Raise your legs up, contract your lower abs, and thrust your feet straight into the air. Your butt should come off the floor. Tap down and repeat for 12 reps.
- (2) Ab Reverse Crunches, 12 reps — Bend your knees, contract your lower abs, and pull your knees up into your chest. Complete 12 reps.
- (3) Ab V Holds, 30 seconds — Lie flat on the ground or a bench and raise your legs up to 45º. Raise your torso so that your body forms a V. Hold it for 30 seconds.
Up the difficulty by holding a light dumbbell in between your feet. For a full description, we covered the Lower Abs Trifecta in-depth here.
5. [SUPERSET] Extended Side Planks + Plank Knee Tucks
Protocol: 2 supersets — 30 seconds per side + 15 reps per leg
Target Muscle(s): Obliques
- (1) Extended Side Plank, 30s/side — Hold an Extended Side Plank for 30 seconds per side. Stack your feet and hold your body up with your right arm. Raise your left arm high into the air, keep your core tight, and resist any pull to sag your hips.
- (2) Plank Knee Tucks, 15/leg — Do 15 Plank Knee Tucks per leg. From push up position, pull your knee into your stomach and SQUEEZE. Your body stays flat the entire time.
Protocol: 2 sets — 15 reps/side
Target Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis, Obliques
- (1) Lie flat on the ground with a dumbbell or kettlebell in your left hand. Raise it straight in the air and lock your arm. Bend your left leg.
- (2) Contract your abs, press your right arm into the ground, and explosively raise your torso up to a 45º angle. The weight should press directly overhead. Your abs drive the movement, but use your arm to help get your body up.
- (3) Slowly lower back down to the floor. Complete 15 reps per side.
Continue to increase the weight as your abs get stronger.
Protocol: 2 sets — 20 reps
Target Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis
- (1) Attach a triceps rope to a cable stack and set it to a high position. Set it to a weight that’s challenging, but lets you complete a full set.
- (2) Grab the rope and get on your knees. Sit back into your hips and pull the rope beside your head.
- (3) Powerfully contract your core, crunch your abs down to the floor, and SQUEEZE the contraction. Your butt doesn’t move.
- (4) Slowly release and fully extend up. Repeat for 20 reps. If you don’t have access to cables, use a resistance band instead.
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)
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