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Quick Home Ab Workouts

Quick Home Ab Workouts

Here is the situation and I don’t mean Mike Sorrentino! You
are at the gym finishing up your workout consisting of cardio and resistance
training and after 60 minutes you are ready to go home. Sounds like a good day
at the gym however today was the day you told yourself you were actually going
to do abs! You tried in the past doing them at the end of your routine but you
never have enough energy. Someone told you to try them before your workout but
you did research (lol maybe) and found out doing abs before a resistance
workout limits your ability on a number of different lifts because your core is
directly involved with almost every key movement. So what are you to do, never
do abs again? No, a better option would be to figure out a workout that you can
do at home either on your off days from the gym or at another time entirely
that will fit your schedule.

I designed a couple different ab routines that you can
follow depending on your fitness level and access to equipment. Without getting
into detail on ab training because you can find my other detailed ab articles here
and here.
The main points to remember when training your abs are to work upper abs, lower
abs, obliques and stabilization. These workouts do just that!

*All workouts are in a progression fashion, meaning they involve
basically the same exercises but they just get harder as you move from one
level to the next.

 

Beginner Level

Workout #1- Bare bones
no equipment necessary

–        Crunches (feet up) 10-15 reps

–         Lying Leg raises 8-10 reps

–         Side crunches 15 reps per side

–         Pushup position plank hold for 20-30 seconds

*Repeat circuit 2 times

Workout #2- Minimal Equipment necessary

–         Exercise ball crunches 10-15 reps

–         Leg lifts hold for 20 seconds

–         Twisting crunches with medicine ball 10-12 reps per side

–         Ab roller 10-12 reps

*Repeat circuit 2 times

 

 

Intermediate Level

Workout #1- Bare bones no equipment
necessary

–         Crunches (feet up) 25-30 reps

–         Lying leg raises 12-15 reps

–         Bicycle crunches 20 reps each side (total of 40)

–         Plank hold for 30-45 seconds

*Repeat circuit 3 times

Workout #2- Minimal Equipment necessary

–         Weighted crunches 15-20 reps

–         Exercise ball knee tucks 12-15 reps

–         Twisting crunches with medicine ball 15-20 reps per side

–         Ab roller 15-20 reps

*Repeat circuit 3 times

 

 

Advanced Level

Workout # 1- Bare bones no equipment necessary

–         Double crunches 25-30 reps

–         Lying leg raises 15-20 reps

–         Side plank hold for 45 seconds

–         Bicycle crunches 25 reps each side

–         Feet elevated plank hold 60-90 seconds

*Repeat circuit 3-4 times

Workout # 2- Minimal Equipment necessary

–         Weighted double crunch 15-20 reps

–         Exercise ball knee tucks 15-20 reps

–         Side plank hold for 45 seconds

–         Ab roller 20-25 reps

–         Feet elevated plank hold for 60-90 seconds

*Repeat circuit 3-4 times

Secret to six pack abs

One thing you are almost certain to see when walking into a gym is people doing endless crunches on the floor in an effort to achieve a well defined midsection. Why is this so common? Well it’s because abs are the ultimate show muscle and doing endless crunches is going to get me a ripped six pact to show the ladies. Ok sounds like we need a lesson on how to properly train our abdominal region.

First, before we even get into proper abdominal training I feel it is necessary to give away my secret right up front. The key to having great abdominals is having a low body fat. If you have a high body fat it really doesn’t matter how well conditioned your abs are they will likely be covered by a layer of fat. If this is the case you need to concentrate on lowering your body fat first. Nutrition is going to play a huge part in this along with a cardio routine that includes some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to help facilitate more fat burning effects. Once you get your nutrition and cardio geared towards losing fat, an intense ab busting routine will put you well on your way to the midsection you want.

The main component of training the abdominal region includes four areas to be specifically targeted; upper abs, lower abs, oblique’s, and core. When training the abdominals it is important to remember how muscles in general respond best to training. With abdominals like any muscle there must be continued progression.  An endless rep of crunches day after day is not the answer. There needs to be added resistance, something to force your abdominals to work harder than they are accustomed to. Added resistance during ab exercises can come from holding a weight plate, kettle bell, medicine ball, using a cable station or roman chair to perform you exercise on.  Also adding instability in the form of an exercise ball can provide added benefit to your ab training.

A good ab program has to include an exercise from each of the four specific areas; upper, lower, oblique’s, and core. This style of routine should be done 2 or 3 times per week with rest days in between, remember your abs need time for recovery in order to make improvements just like all of your other muscles.

Sample Abdominal Plan

  • Rope Cable Crunch 3 sets 12-15 reps (upper abs)
  • Hanging Knee Raise 3 sets 12-15 reps (lower abs)
  • Weighted rotation on exercise ball 3 sets 12-15 reps (oblique’s)
  • Plank holds 3 sets 45-60 sec holds (core)