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An Abdominal Workout Plan to Help You Build Strong, Flat Abs

An Abdominal Workout Plan to Help You Build Strong, Flat Abs


    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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.

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    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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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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