Ripped Abs Training: See Abdominal Workout Routines & Best Exercises for a Flat, Toned, Chiseled Midsection! 

Isn't it ironic that so many people want great looking ripped Abs, but so few actually have them? Even the ones that work hard at their Abs training slave away with crunch after crunch with not much to show for it...and usually a bad, aching back!

Besides the good looks, a strong abdominal region provides core stability and balance as well as absorbing shock and redirecting pressure to protect your joints. Its almost like having a weight belt when you perform squats to stabilize your back and minimize the risk of injury.

The fact is, a set of ripped, washboard abs is the pinnacle of a complete, well-rounded physique. And for that reason, its about time you put in some serious effort and start enjoying your Abdominal workouts! With the right training advice and some "little-known" secrets, you can start seeing great results which will motivate you even more...

Keep in mind that the rest of this page is focused on basic Abdominal training advice that you can get started with, but if you really want your entire midsection to look great, from upper to lower, side to side, you need to use an "integrated" training approach....

Quick Tip: The best way to make your Abs "POP" is to train your entire body in a specialized way, reduce fat in stubborn areas, and use targeted workouts that scientifically plan all of these things for you: 1) volume, 2) intensity, 3) frequency, 4) progression, 5) exercise selection, 6) periodization & MUCH more...

Discover How to Quickly Develop Killer Ab Definition & Torch Stubborn Belly Fat (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)

Here's an outline of the rest of this page:

1) Introduction of the Abdominal region muscle groups
2) Ab exercises
3) Quick training tips
4) Sample Abs workout routine

Introduction & Basic Anatomy

There are several muscles that comprise the abdominal area, helping to extend, flex, twist & stabilize the entire region. Setting on the front sides of the torso's bottom half, these muscles originate along the ribcage and attach along the pelvis. Here's a very quick overview of the main muscles and their respective function:

Rectus Abdominus:
This is visually the most apparent and commonly known as the "six-pack" muscle. Its job is to flex the spine and bring the pelvis & ribcage closer to each other.

Transverse Abdominus:
Lying deep beneath the other muscles, its main function is to stabilize the trunk. This is the "athletic performance" muscle.

Internal & External Obliques:
These work together to rotate the torso since they are diagonally positioned. Another function is stabilize the abdominal region.

Abdominal Exercises

Crunches

- Lie on back with knees bent, and hands clasped behind neck.
- Raise shoulders up until they clear the floor and return to start position for one set.
- For the other two sets,
Raise left shoulder toward right knee, return to floor.
- Lift right shoulder toward left knee, return to floor
.

 Bicycle Crunches

- Lie on back with knees bent, and hands clasped behind neck.
- Raise left shoulder up and raise right knee up, twist until they touch.
- Lower and repeat with right shoulder and left knee.

Dumbbell Trunk Twister

- Kneel on hands and knees.
- Hold weight in hand.
- Lift right arm out to side and up, twisting to right.
- Turn neck to right and follow arm by looking at arm.
- Return to start position and repeat with left arm.

Double Leg Lift

- Lie on back with arms at sides.
- Tighten abdominal muscles to help maintain proper low back curve.
- Keep knees straight and lift both legs up about 6 inches.
- Lower legs and repeat
.

Alternating Leg Bridge

- Lie face down, upper body supported on elbows with forearms on floor as shown.
- Tighten up abdominal muscles and lift hips and legs up until trunk is straight, in a push up like position.
- Raise left leg upward and lower.
- Raise right leg upward and lower.
- Repeat
.

Hanging Leg Raise

- Position body between arm holds of chair.
- Place arms on grips.
- Tighten upper body muscles and slightly lift legs of floor by pushing down with shoulders.
- Keep knees bent and lift thighs upward, bending at waist.
- Lower legs and repeat.

Hanging Leg Raise - Straight

- Position body between arm holds of chair.
- Place arms on grips.
- Tighten upper body muscles and lift legs of floor by bending knees.
- Keep knees straight and lift thighs upward, bending at waist.
- Lower legs and repeat.

Trunk Rotation Machine

- Sit in trunk rotation machine.
- Place arms in arm supports.
- Slowly twist trunk to right.
- Return to start position and twist trunk to left.
- Return to start position and repeat.

See More Ab Exercises, Videos & Training Tutorials

Quick Training Tips

  • Even though its difficult to completely isolate one region of the Abs, its a good idea to use different exercises that target the upper, lower and oblique regions, as well as the deep transverse abdominus.
     
  • The upper region is emphasized in the most basic Ab moves such as crunches, and this region is also the easiest to develop. Use weighted crunches to increase intensity and limit the overall volume of crunches in order to prevent excessive lower back flexion.
      
  • The lower region is targeted through leg raises and lying leg lifts. Leg raises can be done with knees bent as well as with the legs being straight for added difficulty. The most important key for making the lower abs visible is reducing stubborn fat in that area.
     
  • Obliques are typically targeted in rotational and twisting movements such as the dumbbell trunk twister, side crunches and russian twists. In general, its better to stay away from heavy loads when working on the obliques to prevent enlargement of the region.
     
  • Bicycle crunches are a comprehensive exercise that target the upper, lower and oblique regions, helping to develop a well-balanced midsection while providing a good calorie burning effect.
     
  • Every good Ab routine should incorporate Planks and Side Planks for promoting core stability and to effectively recruit the transverse abdominus. These exercises will help to tighten your stomach and make it appear flatter.
     
  • Typically, the Abs are trained with higher reps and lighter loads to minimize hypertrophy and maximize tone. Many compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and standing military presses recruit the entire core region under heavier loads.
     
  • At the intermediate & advanced levels, a higher frequency of training may be needed to chisel out the Abs even more. Increasing intensity and using a greater variety of "regional targeting" exercises become important as you advance forward with your Ab workouts.
     
  • The underlying principles to visible Abs are always linked to bodyfat levels, water retention and bloating. A low calorie diet, increased activity and good fiber & water intake will always be the priorities in making your Abs show. 

Sample Abs Workout Routine

As we said earlier, the optimal way to train your Abs is to use an integrated training approach while directly targeting stubborn fat deposits...

But, if you feel that you've been training long enough and have an optimal full-body workout program, then you can try the sample Ab workout below to further specialize on the midsection:

Bicycle Crunches: after warming up, 2 sets of 20-25 reps
Hanging Leg Raises: 2 sets of 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Trunk Twister: 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Plank: 2 sets of 30-45 seconds

Depending on your full weekly routine and how your train the rest of your body, this Ab workout can be done two to three times per week.

Rest times should be between 60-90 seconds. For bicycle crunches, its recommended that you keep your overall reps and volume low to prevent excession lower back flexion. To progress with the exercises, use weight plates and/or cable attachments to add intensity.

Discover How to Quickly Develop Killer Ab Definition & Torch Stubborn Belly Fat (95% of Gym Rats Have No Clue About This)

Upper: Abs | ArmsBack | Chest | Shoulders | Forearms | Biceps | Triceps | Lats | Full Upper
Lower: Quadriceps | Hamstring | Glutes | Calves | Full Lower