TRAINING – WEIGHT TRAINING

5 Key Exercises for a Chiseled Set of Rock-Hard Abs

Try these ab workouts to help yourself get those granite-carved abs you've always wanted!

5 Key Exercises for a Chiseled Set of Rock-Hard Abs

Remember to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.

Nothing completes a stellar physique like a set of rock-hard abs. Achieving success at any level of bodybuilding requires you to have deeply etched abs. How do you get them? We'll show you how with five great ab workouts for carving out your own set of granite-hard abdominals. Just remember that the best ab development in the world will mean nothing if your abdominal muscles are covered with fat. So along with doing these ab workouts, make sure you follow a high-protein diet, eat a moderate level of carbohydrates, reduce your dietary fat intake, burn enough calories with training to support your overall weight-loss goals.

Swiss Ball Side Bends

Muscles Worked: Side, upper, and lower abdominals

Position: Place the ball in an open area away from any objects that may pose a risk for injury. Carefully lie sideways on the ball so that you're balanced comfortably with your feet touching the floor. Put your hands loosely behind your head, while being careful not to pull on your head.

Start: With your head, neck, and body in a straight line, lift your upper body slowly as far as you can comfortably go.

Finish: Hold at the top of the movement for a moment before lowering yourself slowly down and past the start position. Use the ball at this point to help you bend down farther than you could if you were doing this exercise on the floor. This creates a greater range of motion and makes the side abdominal muscles work more.

Tip: Do a set on one side, then switch sides and perform another set on the other side. Continue to alternate in this fashion until you're done. This will allow you to save time and also give each side a chance to recover for the next set.

Kneeling Cable crunch

Muscles Worked: Upper, middle, lower, and side abdominals

Position: To perform kneeling cable crunches, use a rope or a bar with a pull-down machine. Kneel down facing the machine so that the cable comes down at a slight angle away from the rack as you crunch down.

Start: Grab the rope or bar and pull it down so that your hands are positioned just above your forehead. Crunch down as far as you can go, keeping the rope or bar in the same position. Keep your arms locked in the same position and focus on your abs doing the work.

Finish: Bring your body back up slowly to the start position by focusing your abdominals to do the work and control the motion.

Tip: Because you can add heavier weight, this is a particularly good exercise for causing the abdominal muscles to fatigue faster with fewer reps. Perform the kneeling cable crunches carefully and slowly, exhaling as youHanging Leg Raises go down.

Hanging Leg Raises

Muscles Worked: Upper, middle, and lower abdominals

Position: Using a horizontal bar, position your grip on the bar a little wider than shoulder width. Hang from the bar so your legs dangle straight down.

Start: With your feet side-by-side, bring your legs up slowly as far as you can toward your chest by bending your hips and knees.

Finish: Hold the position at the top before returning slowly to the start position.

Tip: Use gloves or chalk on your hands to prevent slipping and hand fatigue. For variation, twist your hips to either side to hit your obliques or side abdominal muscles.

Crunches

Crunches

Muscles Worked: Upper and middle abdominals

Position: Lie down on the floor or a mat. Bend your knees to about 90 degrees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands gently behind your head.

Start: Keeping your back and head straight, lift your shoulders off the floor about 4 to 6 inches.

Finish: Hold the finish position for a short period before lowering yourself slowly back to the start.

Tip: For a more difficult workout, try holding a weight plate across your chest as you perform the crunches.

Assisted Abdominal Leg Pushes (Advanced)

Muscles Worked: Upper, middle, lower, and side abdominals

Position: Have a training partner stand with their legs slightly bent and spread a little farther apart than shoulder width. Lay down on your back, positioning your head on the mat between your partner's legs.

Start: Grab hold of your partner's ankles for support and bring your legs up with a slight bend in your knees. Your partner should then grab the front of your ankles and proceed to push your legs down towards the floor.

Finish: It is your goal to resist your partner's leg pushes as best as you can and bring your legs back up to the starting position quickly, but under control. Avoid having your feet touch the ground after each push.

Tip: This is difficult exercise and should be performed by advanced participants only. To make the routine more interesting, have your partner randomly push your legs to the left and right as well as to the center.

>> Click here for your Rock-Hard Abs Workout Log

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