What Workout To Do For Abs

It is often asked what workout to do for abs. The answer may vary depending on your fitness goals, but these tips will help you get started.

Abdominal Anatomy

In order to understand abdominal anatomy, it is important to be aware of the different muscles within the core area. The abdominal muscles can be divided into four main groups: the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the transverse abdominis. Knowing what muscles make up the core and understanding their individual functions will help you create a targeted ab workout that will deliver the best results.

Understand Your Abdominal Muscles

Having knowledge of the abdominal muscles and how they work when you exercise is important in order to properly train and condition your abdominal muscles safely. The abdominal wall is made up of four main groups of muscles – rectus abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques and the transversus abdominus (these are sometimes referred to as the core muscles).

The rectus abdominus are in the center of your abdomen and run vertically from your pubic bone up to the ribs. This muscle type makes up most of what we refer to as our ‘six-pack’ and is also involved in posture maintenance and helping with suspending organs, such as providing controlled movements for spinal flexion.

The internal obliques run diagonally on either side within the midsection, extending from below your rib cage down towards your pelvis or hipbone. These muscles control lateral or sideways rotation motions which can transfer loads or tension through multiple body parts (known as functional synergy) allowing great movement efficiency between regions of your body.

The external obliques are opposite, running diagonally downwards from below the rib cage towards the hips, allowing rotation motion crossing over at different angles that oppose one another’s motion while also giving support due to their close vicinity to both lower back flanking erector spinae muscle group AND deep into our abdomen being connected closely with our rectus abdominis. Ultimately this helps provide stability during changes in spine position and alignment during everyday activities plus those requiring strenuous movements for abs contraction using specific gym equipment or carsiology exercises like crunches/sit ups etc…

Finally, the transversis abdominis lies underneath all other mentioned abdominal groups (it forms a kind of ‘girdle’), originating from sternum slightly under breast bone area – attaching down into pelvis – it facilitates breathing support by being able to widen abdomen during respiration taking place i.e., when we inhale/exhale deeply whilst exercising/meditating etc.. All these abdominal layers working together enable us to move efficiently yet with utmost control (whilst training) enabling our core muscles postural stability & protection against possible Lumbar spinal injury due not overstraining them considerably which can ultimately lead us becoming prone injury if neglected!!

Learn About Abdominal Exercises

Abdominal exercises are one of the most important components of a complete workout routine. While it is important to strengthen the entire core, abdominal exercises focus more on targeting the midsection, helping you to achieve a firm and toned stomach. With so many different options available, it’s important to understand your abdominal anatomy so that you can choose the best exercise for your goals.

The deeper abdominal muscle layers are the transverse abdominis (TVA), internal oblique, external oblique and rectus abdominis (RA). All four muscles work together to stabilize your spine and abdomen during movement, including any type of exercise.

The transverse abdominis is located directly below the surface skin and runs from the ribs to just below the groin area. It acts as a stabilizer for your stomach muscles as well as a way to protect your spine while lifting or performing other movements. Strengthening this muscle can help reduce back pain and improve balance and stability with everyday activities.

Your external obliques are located right on top of this muscle layer and encircle the rib cage in band-like fashion; they run diagonally from each side along both sides of your ribcage up toward each shoulder blade allowing you twist or rotate at your trunk in every direction. Working these muscles helps develop strong side bodies which results in enhanced stability on one leg activities such as running or biking.

Finally, rectus abdominis is better known as “the six-pack” because its appearance looks like a pack of cards – six vertical lines running down on either side meeting in between at what’s sometimes referred to as “the Gap”. It runs from just underneath your sternum all down towards just above where you’ll find your pelvis bone- also known as pubic bone connection – thus referred also often referred to as ”front abs” since its main purpose is flexing forward at our waist when performing things such as sit ups or crunches– but also be used for other exercises such rotational torso movements off one foot for example by turning twister-type hips away against resistance such bands etc.. Lastly its common misconception that these front abs can give our stomachs more definitive shape after strengthening work – vs.- simply reduced fat percentage over entire body exercises routines only!

By better understanding how all of these separate muscle groups works together; one can then create an optimal ab workout plan tailored specifically around their limitations, goals, and measurements preferences according their health care provider advice first prior engaging in any physical activity program!

Core Exercises

Core exercises are one of the most effective workout routines to do if you want to strengthen your abs. Core exercises help to improve stability and posture, improve balance and coordination, and protect the back from injury. Furthermore, core exercises are also known to improve the health of your abdominal muscles. In this section, we will go over some of the basic core exercises for achieving abs.


Planks are a type of isometric exercisepopular for their ability to strengthen your core, back and even your arms. Planking is achieved by holding a stable position, typically in either the front raising or side-lying position. By engaging the abdominals, lower back and gluteal muscles, planking will help build strength in areas that support proper posture while toning and conditioning your midsection.

Plank exercises can be done anywhere with no equipment or special training needed. When done correctly they are an effective way to target both the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles. There are many different variations of planks that cater to different fitness levels and conditions ranging from beginner to advanced. These include Front Plank, Side Plank, L-Sit Plank, Straight Arm Plank, BeveledSidePlankand Half-Straight Arm Plankto name a few common variations.

Ideally plank exercises should be done three times weekly for 15-20 seconds at a time if new to planks or 30 seconds if already familiar with them. This can be gradually increased as you progress until you reach roughly 50 second holds which is considered an optimal range per set of planks without overexertingyourself and risking injury or burnout – always remember exercise should be enjoyable! Proper breathing techniques should also be remembered whilst doing planks – exhale when shifting into the plank position and remember not to hold your breath at any time. With consistency andcorrect formplanks can help improve core strength in no time!


The classic crunch is one of the best exercises for working and toning your abs. It’s a compound exercise that uses force generated from other muscles to work your abdominal muscles. To do a crunch, start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and arms crossed across your chest. Now, curl up so that your chin rises off the floor but without lifting it too high. Hold for a few seconds at the top and then lower yourself back down by slowly uncurling or curling downwards. Do these in sets of 10 to 30 reps, aiming complete fatigue after each set.

Leg Raises

Leg raises are an effective core exercise that can help strengthen the abdominal muscles. This form of exercise targets both the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominus and can help you achieve a flatter, toned midsection. Leg raises primarily focus on activating and strengthening the lower abdominal muscles and can be accomplished from many different angles with varying levels of intensity.

There are a variety of movements to choose from when doing leg raises, so it’s important to find which variation best suits your particular needs. When starting out, begin with some basic leg raise exercises such as lying leg raises, bent knee leg raises, reverse leg lifts, and standing knee lifts – all of which target primarily the lower portion of the abs. The key is to increase the intensity slowly over time by increasing repetitions or adding weights.

Once you have developed proper technique and strength for these exercises, feel free to progress to more challenging variations such as hanging or weighted leg/knee raises which will target your entire core region (abdominals and obliques). Leg raises provide an excellent opportunity to challenge your midsection while providing a bit more variety in terms of body positioning than other traditional core exercises like planks or sit-ups. So if you’re looking for a new way to up your ab game – give leg raises a shot!

Cardio Exercises

Cardio exercises are an important part of any ab workout routine. Not only do they burn calories and help you lose fat, they also help strengthen your core and develop the underlying muscles of your abdominals. Cardio exercises can range from walking to running to sports like basketball, so there is a variety of options to choose from. Read on to learn more about the various cardio exercises that can help you get a stronger, flatter midsection.


Running is one of the most popular cardio exercises for abs. It is low-impact and can help strengthen your core muscles while toning the rest of your body. If you are just starting out, try running at a casual or slow pace for 15-20 minutes a few times a week. As you become stronger and more experienced, you can add on more time or increase your speed to get an even greater workout.

When running, it’s important to have good form in order to maximize your workout and reduce the risk of injury. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed and abdominals engaged to help keep your balance. Additionally, swing your arms gently as you jog to aid in balance and help power through each stride. Wear comfortable shoes and make sure you keep hydrated during any workout for optimal performance.


Swimming is one of the most beneficial cardiovascular exercises to do for working the abs. It recruits multiple muscles throughout your entire body and works the core in particular during any kicking motion that you use. Depending on if you are doing freestyle, breaststroke and/or butterfly, swimming has different benefits in which it targets different areas of your abdomen region. Additionally, swimming is a low impact exercise so it still gets your heart rate up without putting too much pressure on your joints.

When engaging in swimming for abs, ensure that you are maintaining proper technique in order to get the most out of this cardiovascular exercise. Start by doing a few laps of each stroke then focus more specifically on ab-toning excercises such as flutter kicks and single leg raises along with core crunches while floating on your back. Lastly, be sure to take breaks when needed and stay mindful of how hard you’re pushing yourself based on how tired you feel to avoid overexertion or injury.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is an excellent cardio exercise and can be an effective way to tone your abdominal muscles. This high-intensity exercise not only helps to increase your heart rate, but also helps to strengthen and tone your shoulders, arms, legs, and abdominals. With the rope continuously moving between each jump – this type of training also works on coordination. To target your abs further, you can do sit-throughs or step-ins in between jumps.

In order to get the most benefits from jumping rope as a cardio workout, it’s important to keep your intensity up while increasing the speed of the jumps. Try to jump double speed or triple speed with both feet together until you reach exhaustion. As you become more confident and coordinated, slowly increase the number of jumps in a given period of time for a higher intensity work-out session. Additionally jumping rope is a great way to warm up for any workout routine as it increases blood flow and sends oxygen to key muscle groups in preparation for exercise.

Resistance Training

Resistance training is an effective and efficient way to target your abs for strength, stability and definition. Resistance training can include various equipment and tools, such as free weights, resistance bands, and machines. It can also involve bodyweight exercises. Resistances training can be used to build overall core strength and improve posture. In this section, let’s look into the types of exercises that are best for targeting those abdominal muscles.

Ab Wheel Rollouts

Ab wheel rollouts are a great core exercise for improving total body stability and strength, targeting specifically the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus and lower back muscles. The exercise is performed using an ab wheel, which consists of two small slightly bent handles joined by a small wheel in the center. To perform this exercise, begin in the start position with your knees on the floor and the ab wheel directly underneath your shoulders. Engage your abs to keep your trunk stable as you slowly roll out with your arms keeping them extended until you reach full elbow extension. Pause at full extension before slowly rolling back to the starting position while maintaining tension in your abdominal muscles. To increase difficulty, you can perform advanced variations such as single-leg rollouts or split stance rollouts where one foot is placed ahead of or behind the body. Ab wheel rollouts are an effective total body workout and potentially help give you defined abs. Therefore it’s important to learn proper technique before attempting these exercises as improper form can result in injury.

Weighted Decline Sit-Ups

Weighted decline sit-ups are an effective resistance training exercise for strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles. This exercise involves lying on a decline bench or fitness ball with a weight held across the chest, and performing a regular sit-up. The decline position increases the intensity of abdominal contraction, providing the resistance needed to target and strengthen all areas of your abdominals.

Decline weighted sit-ups can be performed on both a flat or adjustable decline bench or stability ball in order to isolate and develop different areas of your lower abdominals. To get maximum benefit from this exercise, keep your feet securely anchored on either side of the apparatus so that you can maintain control of your upward motion at all times. Beginners may initially require guidance from an experienced personal trainer in order to ensure that they are performing the exercises safely and correctly.

In order to make this exercise more challenging, consider increasing either the number of repetitions per set or adding more weight across the chest. Making small changes gradually helps you measure progress while avoiding injury caused by sudden overtraining. If you suffer from neck problems, it’s advisable to wear neck protection such as a brace when doing this exercise as there is increased problems when using additional weights as resistance for your abs workout. Consult with a qualified medical professional if necessary before incorporating weighted decline sit-ups into your routine.

Weighted Russian Twists

Weighted Russian Twists are an effective ab exercise that uses resistance to help build and shape the core muscles. Performing this exercise correctly engages all of your abdominal muscles, including your lower abs, obliques, intercostals, and transverse abdominals. To perform a Weighted Russian Twist, sit with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a weighted object such as a medicine ball or small dumbbell in front of you with both hands above your chest. Keeping your back straight and abs tight, slowly rotate the object to one side while you turn your shoulders in that direction. Pause for a moment before rotating back to the starting position and repeating on the other side. This should be done for 8-12 repetitions per set. Make sure you keep good posture throughout this exercise to avoid injury and ensure maximum activation of the abdominal muscles.

Diet and Nutrition

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a key component in achieving your desired ab-building results. When you combine well-rounded nutrition with a consistent workout routine, you will be on your way to strong, well-defined abs. What types of foods should you be consuming to help you reach your goal? What other diet and nutrition tips should you keep in mind? Let’s explore.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for reaching your abs goals. Eating the right kinds of food in the right amounts can help you not just to see results faster but to also keep them.

Your meals should contain a variety of nutritious foods, including whole grains such as brown rice and oats, lean proteins like chicken and fish, healthy fats from avocado and nuts, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

It’s important to limit your intake of saturated fats, processed foods, added sugars, and rich carbohydrates that can contribute excess calories to your diet. Monitor your calorie intake — depending on your goal either losing weight or gaining muscle — so you don’t over eat or under eat. Eating plans involving meal replacements should be used judiciously in order to ensure that all necessary nutrient requirements are met.

By eating a well-balanced diet consistent with the Canadian Food Guide you’ll increase the chances of success during your workout routine for abs.

Increase Your Protein Intake

If you want to get the best results out of your ab workout, it is important to make sure that you are increasing your protein intake. Protein helps to build muscle, which is essential for toning and sculpting the abdominal muscles. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that individuals who are attempting to build muscle should consume between 0.8-1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, an individual who weighs 150 lbs (68 kg) should consume between 54 and 81 grams of protein per day. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs and plant-based proteins (such as nuts, seeds and legumes). Incorporating these foods into your diet can help optimize the results of your ab training program.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining proper hydration levels needed for a successful workout and to fuel your abs muscles. As a general rule, you should drink 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water each day, more if you are participating in physical activities such as working out. Water helps to regulate body temperature, aids digestion and helps to flush out toxins. It is also important to remember that coffee and alcoholic beverages do not count toward hydration levels — only water!

It is recommended that you drink a glass of water 15 minutes prior to exercise and sip on it during your workout. Aim to take regular breaks throughout the day to drink your water. You may even find it helpful to carry a reusable bottle with you so that you can top it up as often as needed throughout the day. Furthermore, adding fruits like citrus or cucumbers have been found to have additional health benefits along with improving flavor.

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