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Training

Overhaul Your Abs

Abs Opener

Your summer six-pack starts with this periodized eight-week program that rebuilds your core from the inside out.

8 Weeks + 4 Phases = 6-Pack

Phase One: Over the next two weeks, you’ll learn to activate, stabilize and brace. You can’t get to the sexy stuff if you don’t start with the basics, and these first two weeks will set the stage for the work to come. Your first six ab sessions may not look difficult on paper, but if you’ve never focused on these three skills before, you’re in for a painful ride. Understand that until you master these movements, you’ve got nowhere to progress.

Concentrate on executing these moves with total control, focusing on the mind-muscle connection in your abs. Don’t rush, and don’t let your body positioning get sloppy. These movements should look easy to anyone watching you, but your abs should remain rock-solid throughout.

Phase Two: During the next two weeks, you’ll build on the mind-muscle connection and bracing you learned in Phase One to begin training the whole length of your rectus abdominis. These muscles give shape to your six-pack and serve three purposes: flexing the spine forward, keeping it from hyperextending backward and helping to control rotation.

To accomplish this, we’re hitting you with stability ball pike roll-outs and rolling planks. The roll-outs will work your abs from top to bottom, and the rolling planks will hit your obliques and transverse abdominis (your “deep core”). If you’ve never done rolling planks before, you’ll likely be shocked at how quickly your obliques tire. This is important because the practice of bracing against rotation will lead you into the more explosive weighted movements in the next phase, ensuring you have the coordination to perform them.

Phase Three: Your next six ab workouts will introduce some explosive rotational movements to further develop the oblique and rotational strength you built in Phase Two. At this point, you’ll have begun to develop the kind of core and ab strength that’ll enable you to make some serious moves toward an actual six-pack. After these two weeks, you’ll feel a significant difference in your core strength, and you’ll see these differences in the mirror, too.

You’ve already mastered the basic movements using your bodyweight. Now you’ll apply that strength into dynamically moving weight with the landmine rotation. We’re also prescribing super-strict hanging leg raises to speed up the emergence of your six-pack. While it’s true that the rectus abdominis is one muscle, it’s possible to stress specific parts of that muscle — and with hanging leg raises, we’re going after your lower abs.

Phase Four: For this final segment, we’ll take your dynamic strength from Phase Three, along with your relative bodyweight strength, and apply both toward the most difficult variations of the program.

For your core, you’ll be doing overhead single-arm farmer’s walks. These require top-to-bottom core stiffness while also working your shoulders, lats and glutes to stabilize a load. For your abs, we’re giving you arguably the hardest ab exercise of all — the dragon flag. This move will take everything you have, from every inch of your midsection, to execute properly.

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  • Simran Cheema

    I’m guessing that this workout is supposed to be 3x’s a week? I could not find the number of days to do this.


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