Your First Mix’n’Match Abs Final Solution

Forget the one-size-fits-all approach to abs training. Use our low/mid/high mixture of options to build your abs and tighten up your midsection in only 18 workouts (that’s only 18 days)!

Here’s the problem with most abs training plans: They’re either too complicated or too simple. On the one hand you’ll find those intricate battle strategies that come with an encyclopedia and/or DVD encompassing every exotic exercise and technique imaginable, complete with meal plan and a 100-page instruction book. The only thing missing is the time to go through it all. On the other hand, you may be offered the promise that a new gadget or “secret” exercise is the one missing element you need to swiftly refine your abs in high-def 3-D.

The truth, of course, rests somewhere between these extremes. That’s where the strategy under discussion makes sense — it blasts your abs with more than just a single bullet. The muscles of your midsection are, in fact, composed of a greater degree of slow-twitch muscle fibers (the more resilient fibers that are less prone to growth), so a singular approach to abs training that doesn’t address the muscle-fiber composition of your midsection is only half a strategy as it is.

Then there’s the issue that your midsection is typically divided into the lower and upper abdominals as well as the obliques. While there aren’t a lot of muscle groups involved, your abs are a bit more complex than, say, your biceps, and yet they can be thoroughly stressed with moderate variety. That’s why a low/mid/high approach to reps is ideal: By stressing all three areas over three rep ranges, your workouts avoid being overly complicated while not being limited by a one-size-fits-all scheme of one-device workouts. Instead, this approach hits the sweet spot and serves up the perfect mix for abs training success.

 

Your Low/Mid/High Reps Abs Workout

Low Abs Exercise
Windshield Wiper
Kneeling Cable Crunch
Decline Reverse Crunch
Sets
4
4
4
Reps
10
10
10
Mid Abs Exercise
Hanging Leg Raise
Hanging Knee Raise
Decline Twisting Crunch
Sets
3
3
3
Reps
15
15
15
High Abs Exercise
Tuck Crunch
Knee-Up
Decline Russian Twist
Sets
2
2
2
Reps
25
25
25

Anatomy of Abs

abdomen

START Hang at arms length from a pull-up bar. Keep your feet together and legs slightly bent and raise your legs so that they’re higher than your head.

DO IT While keeping your upper body steady, rotate your legs as far as you can to the right and then across your body as far as you can to your left. Think of your legs as windshield wipers traveling across wet glass. Each “wipe” from left to right and back again counts as one rep.

Form Tip This is a difficult gymnastics-style move that requires a lot of isometric abs strength. To focus it entirely on your abs and not your arms, use abs straps to eliminate losing your grip on the bar.

Decline Reverse Crunch

START Lie on a decline bench so that your head is elevated above your legs and grab the ankle pads at the top (where your feet would be if you were doing decline sit-ups). Hold your legs up slightly with a bend locked in your knees.

DO IT Without bending your knees any further, bring your legs toward your chest by contracting your lower abs. Raise your glutes just off the bench at the top as your knees come over your chest.

Form Tip Don’t lower your feet all the way to the bench at the start of the move. Instead keep your legs slightly elevated so that tension remains on your abs throughout.

Leave a Reply