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Everybody wants rock-hard, chiseled abs.
The fastest way to get them is to grab an iron griller and press it right down your stomach until you see a pattern of a six-pack.
But if you’re here to know how to do them the right way, then you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a set of movements you can follow to get chiseled abdominals that look like they’re made of granite.
You’ll also need to be aware of what you eat, or otherwise, that layer of fat will just cover your midsection.
Shredded abs aren’t just for show though. Your go-to abdominal routine should consist of exercises that provide maximum detail and improve your core so you can do bent-over rows, deadlifts and squats with impunity.
Also, instead of doing the same old crunch over and over, it’s better to work your abs with exercises that engage multiple planes. This way, you’ll be more efficient and end up with six-packs of pure muscle.
Out of all the possible abdominal exercise variants out there I can only think of four that give you the best bang for your buck. They are the Ab Wheel Rollout, the Side Bench Crunch, the Cable Rotation and TRX Strap Pikes.
Here’s what your chiseled abs routine should look like:
- Ab Wheel Rollout– 2 sets, 15 to 20 reps each
- Side Bench Crunch– 2 sets, 15 reps each
- Cable Rotations– 2 sets, 10 reps each
- TRX Pikes– 2 sets, 15 reps each
As an added note, you can load up on weights when the reps become too easy. On cable rotations, make sure the cables are leveled up to your chest.
Your feet should always be flexed when working the pikes. Set the suspension straps about 12 to 16 inches above the ground.
Related: Best Fat Burners for Ripped Abs
One More Thing Before We Begin…
Sure, you can put your heart and soul into every routine and go for high volume workouts, but the truth is that you’ll be wasting all that effort for nothing.
If you can complete 20 reps without feeling the burn, then you’re doing it wrong. And while it’s true that all muscles can benefit from more reps, going over won’t help your chiseled cause.
The emphasis, therefore should be making each rep as challenging as it can be. If you want to truly activate those type 2b and 2a muscles, quality reps should be your focus.
It also helps to visualize and know what muscles are supposed to be engaged. For instance, the ab wheel rollout should make you feel the burn in the anterior core and not the lower lumbar. For cable rotations the load should be put on the entire torso rather than your arms.
Add the routine twice weekly and you should see the improvements soon enough. Like any other muscle your abs will need to recover, so make sure to skip days when you train them.
The Chiseled Abs Workout Exercises
These are the exercises that will get your abs chiseled. So long as you follow a good diet to get abs.
Ab Wheel Rollout
The undisputed champion when it comes to developing your anterior. The Ab Wheel Rollout sounds like Bumblebee’s special move, except that it does wonders for the whole front section of your abdominal wall!
We’re talking about engaging every anterior muscle group, starting from the rectum all the way to the transverse muscles. As an added bonus, the movement stabilizes the spine and shows you how to keep them in a neutral position when doing lifts, e.g., barbell curls and others.
Begin the rollout by kneeling, then putting your hands on the wheel handles. Consciously round out your back so you prevent arcing on the lower area. Lean out your hips and extend it as far as you can, or until your face almost touches the floor. Hold this position for a whole second, then make your way back to the starting position. Repeat anywhere between 15 to 20 times.
Side Bench Crunch
For this abdominal movement, you should assume a bench position similar to the lying side crunch.
Don’t put your ankles on top of each other or you’re going to fall on the first rep. Instead, lock your right heels under the bench while keeping the left feet tucked in on the left side.
Slowly allow your torso to fall down until your shoulder is nearly touching the floor while being mindful of keeping your hips square and the shoulders stacked.
A few notes for pulling off this move successfully- keep the positive explosive, the negative short and hold the apex position for a couple of seconds.
Your core muscles move in a rotational plane, and as such you will need a rotational exercise to engage every inch of it.
The answer? cable rotations are perfect for giving your abs that ‘3D effect’.
It’s simple to execute, really. Face the attachment with your arms straight and directly in front of your chest. Then, firmly grasp the end with your hands while slightly bending the knees and taking a shoulder-width stance.
Begin the motion by turning to the right 90 degrees using the torso and the left foot’s pivot. Remember to ‘pull’ with your torso and not your arms so you get maximum ab burn. Upon reaching the 90-degree position, hold the pose for a second then slowly return to your original stance.
Do the same and turn to the left while using your right foot’s pivot. Hold the pose for a full second and slowly come back again. This completes one rep.
By nature, TRX pikes are unstable which makes for good balance training. Your deep stabilizers and lower abdominal area will be fully engaged like never before!
A word to the wise- strap pikes can be frustrating and it may feel like too much effort, but once you master this move you’ll be unlocking the keys to super washboard abs.
Assume a prone position and put both feet into the straps. Your hands should be on the floor and your shoulders directly above them. While bending the waist, pull your feet closer to the chest which kicks the hips up to the air.
Be mindful and pull with your ab muscles instead of the arms. When your torso and head are aligned, stop for 3 seconds then come down.
I just laid it all out for you. Exercises to give you chiseled abs and a chiseled abs workout. Now it’s up to you to put in the work and keep your diet in check to get the abs of your dreams.
Justin Grinnell is the Owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing, Michigan. State of Fitness opened up just four years ago and is already one of the leading training facilities in the Midwest. State of Fitness has over 450 members who train every day under his leadership. In addition to being a facility owner, Justin has his own blog at www.grinnelltraining.com (link below), and has been a featured writer for over 6 years in the magazine Healthy & Fit and is a writer for Muscle & Fitness.