(At least my abs….)
After breaking four ribs at the gym 7 months ago….I’m finally
Breathe out and reset any preconceived beliefs about core training — hands down, lower abs day is about to takeover as the most daunting day of your workout week.
The Plunging, Deep V, Lower Abs Workout is a relentless juggernaut that produces hellacious results — specifically geared towards chiseling out a flat, razor-sharp, rippled set of lower abs; accompanied by a deep, plunging V-cut across the hips.
It’s a 6 exercise, 12 set gauntlet that runs about 20 minutes, progressively increasing in difficulty as your lower abs and obliques get pounded into oblivion. By the end your stomach will be pumped with blood and O2, and searing with lactic acid; leaving your lower abs sizzling in glorious pain.
It’s not mutually exclusive, though. By association, you’ll still use the upper half of your torso to carry you through each movement, especially as the difficulty escalates and the burn compounds.
And if the routine seems like a little bit of overkill, tough crapola — it’s tough for a reason. Make it a priority. Building lower abs and completing a gorgeous stomach is an act of love that requires precise training and even more dedication. Push beyond normal. Normal workouts produce normal results; and normal is always horrible.
As with any other ab workout, I’ll throw in the usual caveat. You’ll NEVER build the stomach you want with ab workouts alone — that hard-earned muscle will sit dormant under a layer of blub. Core-centric exercises carve out the requisite musculature; diet, cardio, sleep, and the rest of your workout schedule ultimately trim back the fat.
Ready, Tiger? Go get that pancake-flat midsection you’ve always wanted. RAWR.
Complete The Plunging, Deep V, Lower Abs Workout in order, with minimal rest. Rest when needed — 30-60s between sets — but aim to gut it out as quickly as possible. Less rest equals HIGHER intensity, quicker pace, and more calories shredded.
This is designed to be DIFFICULT. If it’s too much at first, scale back the reps based on your own fitness level and gradually increase the workload. Challenge yourself, but you should also be able to finish the entire workout within 20 minutes. If you’re going over 25 minutes, chop it off and shoot to improve over time.
Complete the routine 2-3x per week, with at least 2 days off in between ab workouts. This serves as a replacement for any ab training you’re already doing. A full printable recap is available here.
*Click exercise names for video demos, where applicable.
1. Hanging Leg Raises
Protocol: 3 sets, 12 reps
Primary Muscles: Lower Abs, Obliques
Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands at shoulder-width. While keeping your back straight, contract your lower abs and slowly raise your legs until they’re parallel with the floor. Don’t swing, rock, or use momentum.
Pause for .5 seconds at the top and return to the bottom.
If Hanging Leg Raises are too difficult at first, substitute with Hanging Knee Raises or the Captain’s Chair. Repeat the same motion, except with your knees bent.
2. Bicycle Crunches
Protocol: 2 sets, 45 reps
Primary Muscles: Abs (All), Lower Abs, Obliques
Lie flat on the floor with your legs extended and hands behind your head. Pull your right knee into your chest and simultaneously crunch your left elbow across your body — your knee and elbow should point at each other.
Immediately kick your right leg out, pull your left leg in, and crunch your right elbow across your body. Repeat for 45 reps (each cross-crunch is 1 rep).
3. Swiss Ball Jackknives
Protocol: 2 sets, 15 reps center/10 left/10 right
Primary Muscles: Lower Abs, Obliques, Upper Body
Assume push up position with your shoelaces on the top of a stability ball (1).
Squeeze your lower abs, keep your upper body steady, and roll the ball in until your quads are perpendicular with your butt (2). Keep a flat lower back throughout, resisting the urge to arch when pulling in.
Roll the ball back out (1) and repeat for 15 reps. Next, repeat the same motion for 10 reps, but roll the ball in diagonally towards your left elbow. Do it once again for 10 more reps towards your right elbow.
4. The Lower Abs Trifecta
Protocol: 2 sets — 15 Pulse Ups/10 Reverse Crunches/30 second Ab V Hold
Primary Muscles: Lower Abs
The Lower Abs Trifecta (LAT) is a strategic superset that hypertargets and blasts the lower abs. It involves three exercises — Pulse Ups, Reverse Crunches, and Ab V Holds — performed back-to-back. Check out our full walkthrough guide here if you’re unfamiliar with any of the 3 exercises.
Here’s a summary of how it works:
1. Find an open floor space or grab a flat bench — that’s all you’ll need to start.
2. Complete 15 Ab Pulse Ups. Once this gets too easy, hold a dumbbell in between your feet as you pulse upwards.
3. Without resting, immediately do 10 Reverse Crunches. Again, once this gets too easy, hold a dumbbell in between your feet as you crunch inward.
4. Without resting, immediately do an Ab V Hold for 30 seconds.
5. Rest 1 minute and 30 seconds.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 two more times, for a total of 2 LATs
5. Mason Twists
Protocol: 1 set, 30 reps
Primary Muscles: Abs (All), Lower Abs, Obliques
Grab a light kettlebell or dumbbell and find a large space on the floor. Sit firmly on your butt, bend your knees, and lower your torso into a V position. This is your starting position — stay balanced.
While bracing your abs, powerfully twist your torso from side to side, tapping the kettlebell/dumbbell to the floor on either side. Don’t drop your legs or torso during the motion.
Repeat for 30 total twists (once to the left and right counts as 2 reps).
6. Ab V In & Outs
Protocol: 2 sets, 15 reps
Primary Muscles: Lower Abs, Rectus Abdominis (Upper Abs)
Lie flat across a bench, perpendicular, with your butt planted and your arms grasping the underside. This is your starting position.
Simultaneously contract your upper and lower abs, and raise up to form a V with your body. Bend your knees when bringing in your legs.
Release back down to starting position and repeat for 15 total reps.
And here’s my other abstastical gut buster:
You asked for it, you got it. I’ve built the highly anticipated counterpart to one of my favorite UberExercises of all time, The Lower Abs Trifecta, which specifically blasts the upper abs. If you’re looking to sculpt a washboard midsection defined by rock-hard ripples, undulations, and ab crevices, consider The Upper Abs Trifecta your personal abdominal excavation unit. It’s powerful. It’s fast. It burns like hydrochloric acid. Your abs WILL feel like they got walloped by a jack hammer the day before, but it’s insanely effective and produces results.
Combine it with a few sets of The Lower Abs Trifecta (LAT) and you’ve got one all-encompassing, ab-defining circuit.
Like LAT, the Upper Abs Trifecta (UAT) is a circuited superset of 3 different upper abs exercises in sequence. UAT combines the following three upper ab specific exercises into one set, completed in order without any rest:
1.Swiss Ball Ab Crunches — Center, Left, Right
2. Bicycle Crunches
3. Swiss Ball Ab Planks
The first two exercises — Swiss ball ab crunches and bicycle crunches — pinpoint the upper section of the abdominals and create vigorous contractions from a variety of different angles, while gradually ramping up in intensity. Swiss ball ab crunches provide a controlled, deep hyperextension followed by an accordion-like compression, driven down the center, left, and right side of the upper torso. This provides end-to-end stimulation, and shreds the upper-center portion of the abs and the serratus anterior — the little finger muscles above the rib cage (see below).
Bicycle crunches replicate a similar motion, but turn things up a notch with turbocharged strength, speed, and intensity. This stimulates different types of muscle fibers (bicycle crunches use Type 1/Slow Twitch muscle fibers, SBACs recruit more Type IIa/Fast Twitch muscle fibers), creates an extremely powerful burn, and fatigues the region into maximal muscle breakdown.1
Exercise 3 — Swiss Ball Ab Planks — exploit the fatigue and muscle breakdown left behind from exercises 1 and 2, and leverage the transverse abdominis (inner abs) to compensate for the deadened upper region. Even though the upper abs will be running on E and searing from circulating lactic acid, the transverse is able to effectively dominate and hold up the core for the duration of the plank. Again, Swiss ball planks provide a different source of stimulation — in the form of an isometric contraction, or a contraction where the length of the muscle doesn’t change — to infuse variety, keep the abs off balance, and encourage optimal growth.
Sections Of The Abdominals
Find an open floor space and a Swiss exercise ball.
Complete 15 Swiss Ball Ab Crunches down the middle, 10 to the left, and then 10 to the right. Picture/video demo below. Once this gets too easy, hold a dumbbell behind your head as you crunch.
Without resting, immediately do 45 seconds of Bicycle Crunches. Picture/video demo below.
Without resting, immediately do a Swiss Ball Ab Plank for 60 seconds, or for as long as you can. Picture/video demo below. If you can, slowly tilt your body from left to right.
Rest 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Repeat steps 1-5 two more times, for a total of 3 UATs
I’ll let you guys know how it turns out…..I’ll post before and after pics…..maybe.