Tag Archives: Abs

The “abs”, formally called the rectus abdominus, is located on the front portion of the torso between the chest and the waistline. It’s primarily responsible for the flexion of the lumbar portion of the back.

Both men and women often desire to have a ripped abdominal region especially in time for the summer where they can show off that “six pack” at the pool or the beach. A well defined rectus abdominus, also known as a “washboard”, is the center piece for a muscular physique. A ripped stomach can make most people look like they are in great shape.

Terry Crews

Terry Crews: Expendables Workout Plan

Being a former NFL player, Terry Crews is no newbie to the gym. You don’t get this from taking it easy and lifting light. There’s no doubt we can all learn a little something from Terry’s routine.

Monday: Shoulder/Arms/Abs/Cardio

Superset

  1. Upright Barbell Row – 1 set of 6 reps
  2. Power Clean & Jerk – 1 set of 6 reps
  3. Romanian Deadlift – 1 set of 6 rep
  4. Jump Squats – 1 set of 6 reps

Giant Set (4 rounds with 30 seconds between each round)

  1. Alternating Dumbbell Front Lateral Raise – 1 set of 10 reps
  2. Arnold Dumbbell Press – 1 set 10 reps
  3. Lateral Raise – 1 set of 10 reps
  4. Rear Dumbbell Flyes – 1 set of 10 reps
  5. Hammer Dumbbell Curl – 4 sets of 10 reps
  6. Rotator Cuff – 4 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds between each set)

Giant Set (30 seconds between sets)

  1. Crunches – 1 set to failure
  2. Leg Raises – 1 set to failure
  3. Cardio – 30 minutes treadmill at 3.5 miles at 7mph

Tuesday: Back/Cardio

  1. Barbell Deadlift – 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps at desired weight (30 second between sets)
  2. Pullups – 3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps at desired weight (30 seconds between sets)
  3. Behind the Neck Pull-ups – 1 set of 15 reps (30 seconds rest)

Giant Set: Side To Side Chins

  1. Side To Side Chins – 1 set of 6 reps, right. 1 set of 6 reps, left. 1 set of 3 reps, middle
  1. Reverse Barbell Row – 4 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds between sets)
  2. Machine Row – 10, 8, 6, 4 reps at desired weight (30 seconds between sets)
  3. Seated Row – 4 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds between each set)
  4. Cardio – 30 minutes treadmill at 3.5 miles at 7mph

Wednesday: Cardio Day

  1. Treadmill: 45 minutes, 7.0 MPH (5 miles)

Thursday: Chest/Arms/Abs/Cardio

  1. Power Clean & Jerk – 4 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds between each set)
  2. Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps at desired weight (30 seconds between sets)
  3. Incline Barbell Press – 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps at desired weight (30 seconds between sets)

Superset (30 seconds between each set)

  1. Dumbbell Flyes – 4 sets of 10 reps
  2. Dumbbell Bicep Curl – 4 sets of 10 reps

Superset (30 seconds between each set)

  1. Dips – Chest Version – 1 set of 15 reps
  2. Pushups – 4 sets of 20 reps

Giant Set (30 seconds between sets)

  1. Crunches – 1 set to failure
  2. Leg Raises – 1 set to failure
  3. Cardio – 30 minutes treadmill at 3.5 miles at 7mph

Friday: Legs/Triceps/Abs/Cardio

  1. Barbell Squat 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps at desired weight (30 seconds between each set)

Superset (30 seconds between each set)

  1. Single Leg Leg Press – 4 sets of 10 reps
  2. Calf Raise – 4 sets of 10 reps
  3. Hack Squat – 4 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds between each set)
  4. Close Grip Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps at desired weight (30 seconds between sets)
  5. Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds between each set)

Giant Set (30 seconds between sets)

  1. Crunches – 1 set to failure
  2. Leg Raises – 1 set to failure
  3. Cardio – 30 minutes treadmill at 3.5 miles at 7mph

Saturday: Cardio Day

  1. Treadmill: 30 minutes at 3.5 miles at 7mph

Sunday: Cardio or Optional Day Off

  1. Treadmill: 30 minutes at 3.5 miles at 7mph or Rest Day (optional)

Side Bends

Side bends are designed to target the oblique muscles, more commonly referred to as the “love handles”. Side bends can be performed with various exercise equipment like cables or dumbbells. Additionally, hands can be hanging down or raised upward over the head holding onto the weight.

Anatomy

The oblique muscles are located on the outside of the rectus abdominus. They have taken on several different names over the years like the waist, hips, “love handles”, and “sides”. These muscles are responsible for the lateral flexion, rotation and flexion of the lumbar region of the back. In a side bend, the obliques are performing a lateral flexion of the lumbar region.

Numerous muscles of the back assist the obliques in this exercise movement like the trapezius muscles, the erector spinae, and the levator scapulae. Additionally, the glutes aid in stabilizing the hips when performing the side bend.

How To Perform

  1.  Stand with feet roughly shoulder width apart.
  2. Grab the weighted plate or dumbbell in the left hand.
  3. Allow the left arm to fully extend downward.
  4. Place the right hand on the hip and bend laterally toward the ground.
  5. Slowly return to an upright position and repeat.
  6. Make sure to perform this exercise on both sides.
  7. Perform this exercise for the desired amount of sets and reps.

Variations

There are numerous variations for making side bends more difficult or challenging. Here are a few common variations:

Overhead Side Bend – This variation requires the arms to be raised above the head, typically holding a cable or a weighted plate. It places more emphasis throughout the back and spine.

Side Crunch – The side crunch is similar to the side bend but instead of leaning away from the weight, the individual leans toward the side that is holding the weight.

Bosu Side Bend – Adding a bosu ball makes the exercise less stable and forces the core muscles to be activated at all times to maintain balance. This increases the stress placed upon the obliques.

Caution

With all exercises, safety and proper form are vital to a successful workout. Make sure to pay attention to the following:

  1. Do not rock side to side when performing this exercise. The momentum will decrease the effectiveness of the exercise.
  2. Side bends are not recommended for elderly individuals or for those who have problems with maintaining their balance.
  3. Overhead side bends are not recommended for individuals with shoulder, elbow, or back issues.
  4. Side bends can be performed in a seated position for those with issues standing. However, they are not as effective due to a compromised range of motion.
  5. Always hold onto the weight with a firm grip to avoid dropping said weight and risking injury.
  6. There is no such thing as a “spot reduction method” therefore this exercise will not reduce excessive body fat that’s covering the obliques.

V-ups

V-ups are a challenging exercise that combines the best of crunches and leg raises. Individuals appear to be folding themselves in half when performing this exercise. V-ups is widely considered an intermediate exercise that provides a great workout for the rectus abdominus and other muscles of the core region.

Anatomy

The V-ups directly target the rectus abdominus also known as the “6 pack” or the “abs”. During this exercise, the rectus abdominus performs a flexion movement of the lumbar region in the back. In addition to the “abs”, there are several other muscles of the core and hip region that assist in this exercise like the hip flexors and the obliques.

How To Perform

  1. Begin by laying flat on the ground.
  2. Use a mat to provide extra cushion.
  3. Fully extend hands and arms over the head.
  4. Fully extend the legs downward.
  5. Try to keep the legs together at all times.
  6. Raise the legs and the upper torso off the ground at the same time.
  7. Bring the legs up to a 45 degree angle and try to touch the toes when the upper body is off the ground.
  8. Only the glutes will be on the ground when legs and arms are touching.
  9. Slowly return to starting position.
  10. Perform this exercise for the desired amount of sets and reps.

 

Variations

Due to the movement of this exercise, there are only a few variations for making V-ups more difficult or challenging.

Bench V-ups – Instead of laying on the ground, the individual will lay on a flat bench. Allow the legs to hang off the bench to increase difficulty. Maintain control at all times to prevent falling off the bench.

Weighted V-ups – Weight can be added to make this exercise very difficult. An individual can place dumbbells in their hands, between their feet, or both.

 

Caution

With all exercises, safety and proper form are vital to a successful workout. Make sure to pay attention to the following:

  1. V-ups are not recommended for those with back or neck problems.
  2. V-ups on the ground are not recommended for elderly individuals or for those who have problems getting up off the ground.
  3. If using additional weight, make sure to perform this exercise smoothly and slowly to prevent losing control of the weight.
  4. Make sure to breath during this exercise to prevent any light headedness or blackouts.
  5. Always get up slowly when performing this exercise on the ground or a flat bench. This will prevent a sudden rush of blood throughout the body which can cause lightheadedness and loss of balance.
  6. Always maintain a firm grip on the weights to prevent dropping the weight.
  7. Maintain a smooth and controlled rhythm. Do not go too fast as this will create a momentum that lessens the effect of the exercise.
  8. Maintain control of the body at all times to prevent smacking the head on the ground or bench when returning to the starting position.

 

Ab Crunches

The crunch is the most basic abdominal exercise that an individual can perform. This exercise targets the rectus abdominus, more commonly referred to as the “abs” or the “six pack”. Many people desire to have that ripped stomach and the crunch is one exercise that may be used to accomplish that goal.

Anatomy

The rectus abdominus is located above the waist line and below the pectoralis major, more commonly known as the chest or the “pecs”. The rectus abdominus is responsible for the flexion of the lumbar portion of the spine. During the crunch, the obliques are involved in assisting the rectus abdominus in the exercise movement.

How To Perform

  1. Begin by laying flat on the ground.
  2. Use a mat to provide extra cushion.
  3. Bend knees and place feet flat on the ground.
  4. Place hands behind the head or across the chest.
  5. Flex the waist and raise upper back off the ground.
  6. Keep lower back on the ground at all times.
  7. Return to the starting position and repeat.
  8. Perform this exercise for the desired amount of sets and reps.

Variations

There are numerous variations for making the crunch more difficult or challenging. Here are a few common variations:

Raised Feet – Raising the feet off the ground, places an extra emphasis on the lower region of the rectus abdominus and the hip flexors.

Incline Crunch – This variation of the crunch is performed on a decline bench that has a foot pad to lock in the legs. The declined angle provides more of a resistance when performing the crunch.

Weighted Crunch – A weighted crunch adds more resistance in the form of a plate or dumbbell. Typically the plate is placed across the chest while performing the crunch.

Crunch Machine – There are several variations of crunch machines in the gym. Some are flat while others are seated. These machines provide added resistance and help to keep individuals properly aligned.

Caution

With all exercises, safety and proper form are vital to a successful workout. Make sure to pay attention to the following:

  1. Do not raise the lower back off the ground during a crunch as this can potentially lead to low back injuries.
  2. Crunches on the ground are not recommended for elderly individuals or for those who have problems getting up off the ground.
  3. If placing hands behind the head during the crunch, never push on the head when raising upper torso off the ground.
  4. If using additional weight, make sure to perform the crunch smoothly and slowly to prevent losing control of the weight.
  5. If the ground is too hard on the back, use a bench or a crunch machine.
  6. Make sure to breath during the crunching motion to prevent any light headedness or blackouts.
  7. Incline crunches are not recommended for those who suffer from dizziness or have high blood pressure.
  8. Always get up slowly when performing crunches on the ground or a flat bench. This will prevent a sudden rush of blood throughout the body which can cause lightheadedness and loss of balance.

Leg Raises

Leg raises are often thought of as the best way to work out the lower portion of the stomach region with the hopes that this exercise will reduce the stomach fat. Unfortunately, this is a misconception. There are no spot reduction methods. However, leg raises are still challenging and target numerous muscles in the core region.

Anatomy

Leg raises specifically target various hip flexors like the iliopsoas. However this exercise requires numerous core muscle to help assist the hip flexors. Both the rectus abdominus and the oblique muscles are needed to help stabilize the pelvis and will contract if the legs are lifted high enough to cause waist flexion. The quadriceps are also required to help assist in this exercise movement.

How To Perform

  1. Begin by laying flat on the ground.
  2. Use a mat to provide extra cushion.
  3. Place hands and arms alongside the hips.
  4. Keep head, neck and back flat on the ground at all times.
  5. Fully extend legs outward and keep them together at all times.
  6. Lift the legs off the ground with a slight bend in the knees.
  7. Raise the legs until they come to a 90 degree angle and are perpendicular to the ground.
  8. Slowly lower the legs without touching the ground and repeat.
  9. Perform this exercise for the desired amount of sets and reps.

Variations

There are numerous variations for making leg raises more difficult or challenging. Here are a few common variations:

Vertical Leg Raises – This exercise is typically performed by using padded dip bars that are attached to a pull-up station. The bars allow individuals to place their body weight on them, their back against the back pad, and raise their legs up to position that’s parallel to the ground.

Hanging Leg Raises – This is the most difficult variation of the leg raise exercise as it requires individuals to hold onto a pull-up bar and perform a vertical leg raise.

Weighted Leg Raises – Adding weight to any version of the leg raise will place more stress upon the muscles, thus making it more difficult. The weigh is typically in the form of a dumbbell and it’s usually placed between the feet.

Caution

With all exercises, safety and proper form are vital to a successful workout. Make sure to pay attention to the following:

  1. Exercises on the ground are not recommended for elderly individuals or for those who have problems getting up off the ground.
  2. Do not hold onto something when performing leg raises as this will allow the body to use the leverage and make the exercise easier.
  3. If using additional weight, make sure to perform the leg raise smoothly and slowly to prevent losing control of the weight.
  4. If the ground is too hard on the back, use a bench.
  5. Make sure to breath during the exercise movement to prevent any light headedness or blackouts.
  6. Hanging leg raises are not recommended for individuals with shoulder or elbow issues.
  7. Always get up slowly when performing leg raises on the ground or a flat bench. This will prevent a sudden rush of blood throughout the body which can cause lightheadedness and loss of balance.