Lean Ab Workout

hanging leg raise


Ever notice that no matter what men's magazine you look at, chances are, your going to see a cover model with strong, ripped abs.

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It's no surprise since a well defined abdominal area shows everyone around that you are 100% serious about your body.

I mean, big arms and a broad chest are great to have but if you really want to turn some heads, you must have a chiselled and well defined abdominal area.

If abs are this important why do most people avoid doing them or devote so little time to training them?

I think it has to do with a combination of the actual work involved and comfort levels. Let's face it, doing the bench press and dumbbell curls feel so much better.

Also, unlike doing the bench press or dumbbell curls, which show an immediate increase in size, the abs don't respond in such a way. When you train abs, they don't puff up like your biceps or your chest. Crunches and other abdominal exercises produce more subtle results as time progresses. For most people, this is boring and unexciting and one of the main reasons why most people don't train them.

However, if you truly want to possess a strong and powerful physique, your going to have to train your abdominal muscles. Abs are your bodies core and it needs to be trained on a regular basis, just like your shoulders and back. If you can train your abs on a regular basis, you'll be well rewarded with a strong and powerful core that improves your overall strength, appearance and posture.

However, before I lay the ab routine out, I'd like to point out something that is of the utmost importance. The only way those abs will ever show up as ripped washboards, is to trim your body fat. You can do hundreds of sit ups, crunches, and side bends, day in and day out but until you strip away the top layers of fat, the muscles themselves will stay covered. Watch your diet, including calories and the kinds of foods you eat and you will be well rewarded with well defined abs. For a more detailed discussion about nutrition, see this page here.

The following ab routine will effectively train the entire stomach region. This workout is very similar to a traditional circuit workout which is very effective for burning fat.

I suggest that you do this ab routine two times per week with at least two to three days rest in between each workout. Start out doing 1 set of 10 to 12 repetitions for each exercise. Perform all exercises in a row without resting in between sets. That is, as soon as you've completed the first exercise, proceed to the next exercise without rest, and perform the prescribed repetitions. You will do this for all the exercises. Once you've completed one circuit, rest for about one minute and than repeat a second circuit.

To start, try and do 2 circuits at 10 to 12 repetitions each. Ultimately, you want to reach 5 to 7 circuits for 20 repetitions each.

Let's take a look at the workout

1) Crunches
Do 1 x 10 - 12 repetitions and immediately proceed to;

2) Hanging leg raise
Do 1 x 10 to 12 repetitions and immediately proceed to;

3) Incline knee raise
Do 1 x 10 to 12 repetitions and immediately proceed to;

4) Standing torso twist
Do 1 x 10 to 12 repetitions. Rest one minute and perform another circuit.


Do one set of 10 to 12 repetitions and immediately proceed to the next exercise, which is the hanging leg raise.

Hanging Leg Raise

Do one set of 10 to 12 repetitions and immediately (with no rest), proceed to the next exercise, which is the incline knee raise.

Incline Knee Raises

Complete one set of 10 to 12 repetitions and immediately proceed to the next exercise, which is the standing torso twist.

Standing Torso Twist

Do one set of 10 to 12 repetitions. Once you've completed all the ab exercises in succession, you completed what is called a "circuit". Take a quick breather and do another circuit.

So there you have it. Do this routine for at least two months and I'm sure you'll see some impressive results. Remember, try and get up to 5 to 7 circuits of 20 repetitions per exercise.

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All the best,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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