The straight up series ABS

NO MORE GOING EASY ON YOUR ABS WITH FINESSE ROUTINES. TRY THIS WORKOUT FOR A BETTER SIX-PACK.

YOUR ABS AREN’T a body part that need to be handled with kid gloves. Body-weight only and high-rep workouts don’t always have to be your plan of attack when hitting the midsection. And seriously, it’s OK to skip planks now and then. We’re going Rocky Balboa–style on your abs with this routine designed by ISSA certified trainer and two-time Muscle & Fitness Male Model Search competitor Robert Ciresi Jr. You’ll be doing sit-ups and crunches, and you’ll be doing them with added resistance, as well as a tool from yesteryear that’s underutilized: the Roman Chair. But the rep counts don’t drop down too far; you’ll be living in the six-pack-friendly 15- to 25-rep range to maximize time under tension for full muscle development. (Yes, you want to develop the ab muscles, too.)

WARNING: Your abs might be in some pain while doing this workout, but it’s good pain. That’s what Rocky would have wanted.

THE WORKOUT ABS

Do this workout on off days or at the end of your normal routines no more than twice a week.

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Weighted Cable Crunch 4 15
Weighted Situp 3 15
Crunch 3 25
Roman Chair Situp 3 15

 

WEIGHTED CABLE CRUNCH

Don’t rush through the reps. Keep the movement under control and make sure the abs—not the arms—are doing all the work.

ROMAN CHAIR SITUP

Individuals with an advanced fitness level can add weight with a medicine ball, weight plate, or dumbbell to increase the difficulty. Remember to keep your core tight throughout, even on the way down (negative/eccentric).

WEIGHTED SIT-UP

Use a dumbbell, medicine ball or weighted plate for this exercise. Clutching the weight to your chest, perform a sit-up by rolling up toward your knees.

Contract the abs hard as you perform a situp,” says Ciresi. “For many people it will be difficult to keep the feet on the floor, so feel free to hook your toes under something or have a training partner hold them down.”

CRUNCH

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears. Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in.

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