Do you feel frustrated because you can’t build strong, flat abs no matter how many crunches or leg raises you perform? You’re not alone. I receive emails from guys and girls every day who do ab exercises constantly without getting the results they desire.

This article makes the often elusive flat, strong abs a thing of the past. That’s because I’ve cracked the code and figured out what exercises really work. Give this abdominal workout plan a try for yourself and after a few weeks you will find your abs are flatter and stronger than ever before.

First Things First – How Your Ab Muscles Really Work

Many people think that the only functions of the abdominal muscles are to crunch your chest toward your knees and raise your legs upward. This is why exercises like crunches, leg raises, and sit ups are so popular. The main problem with this is that these are just a few of the ways your abs work. Another, perhaps bigger issue is that these exercises train the muscles of your hips more than anything else.

In reality your ab muscles have several functions. They are to stabilize your spine, absorb force, flex and extend the trunk, and twist from the waist. A great abdominal workout plan is therefore one that uses exercises that work your abs in each of these ways. Since they are like any other muscle, you need to train them using enough resistance to force them to recover and grow stronger. This means sets of 5-12 reps. Anything else is a waste of time.

Hacking Your Way To Strong, Flat Abs – The Workout

Before you proceed be forewarned. Don’t expect to find any crunches or situps in the workout below. I’ve instead included exercises that work your abs and the rest of your body in a more functional manner. Trust me, you’ll feel your abs are being trained 100% every workout. The results will speak for themselves.

You should do this abdominal workout plan 3 times a week. I prefer doing it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This allows for enough time to rest, recover, and grow between workouts.

You will be alternating between 2 workouts, labeled A and B. Each are listed below along with an example as to how it’s performed.

Ab Workout A

  • Alternating Kettlebell Swings
  • Kettlebell Front Squats
  • 1 Arm Kettlebell Row
  • Resistance Band Push Ups (only use resistance bands if you can do more than 10 regular push ups)
  • Farmers Walks
  • Medicine Ball Side Throws

Ab Workout B

How To Perform These Workouts

Alternate between A and B workouts at every session. I’ve listed how this will be performed for the first 4 weeks. After 4 weeks of training this way you can start a new workout or begin again with workout A.

Week One
Monday: Workout A
Wednesday: Workout B
Friday: Workout A

Week Two
Monday: Workout B
Wednesday: Workout A
Friday: Workout B

Week Three
Monday: Workout A
Wednesday: Workout B
Friday: Workout A

Week Four
Monday: Workout B
Wednesday: Workout A
Friday: Workout B

Sets and Reps
Here are the sets and reps you will do for each exercise every week. Start with a weight that you can do for the prescribed number of repetitions with good technique.

Every workout is to be performed as a circuit. Working out this way will help you burn more calories from stored body fat which will make your abs visible faster. You’ll do every exercise one after the other with no rest between each. Rest 2-5 minutes between each circuit.

  • Week 1: 3 circuits per workout. Perform 8 reps per exercise.
  • Week 2: 3 circuits per workout. Increase the weight used on exercises you can do 10 times.
  • Week 3: 4 sets for each exercise. Perform 8 reps per exercise.
  • Week 4: 4 sets for each exercise. Increase the weight used on exercises you can do 10 times.
  • Week 5: 5 sets for each exercise. Perform 8 reps per exercise.
  • Week 6: 5 sets for each exercise. Increase the weight used on exercises you can do 10 times.

More Than An Ab Workout

Since these are total body workouts you’ll find that you build muscle and get stronger throughout the rest of your body too. The only equipment you’ll need are a kettlebell, medicine ball, and resistance bands. You can substitute barbells and dumbbells if necessary.

After performing this workout for 4-6 weeks you can switch to a new program with a new focus. I recommend always including at least a few of the exercises from this workout in your programs to ensure your abs are always being trained properly.

Don’t Forget About Diet

While this abdominal workout plan will build flat abs that are stronger than ever, you have to eat right to get them to look the way you want. Dieting to lose fat doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply cutting our flour and sugar rich foods alone will help you obtain visible abs.

I recommend reading 3 Hacks To Help You Lose 10 Pounds In 21 Days for detailed tips to help you lose excess body fat.

Studies show that getting enough sleep is critical to keeping belly fat off too.

Now you know the right way to work out to build strong, lean, and functional abdominal muscles. All that’s left is for you to give it a try. Once you do I guarantee that you’ll never feel the need to perform another crunch, leg raise, or sit up.

(Photo credit: Man Showing Six-Pack with Woman via Shutterstock)

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