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The Magnificent 7 Ab Routine!

7 exercises to get sculpted abs!

The Magnificent 7 Ab Routine!

The routine is composed of 7 abdominal exercises carefully chosen to hit both the upper and lower abs. Use them to get a ripped core!

The Spring rapidly approaches with no one to stop it. As Frank Zane well states in his book Fabulously Fit Forever, "Spring is a time of rebirth for my muscles with getting back into good shape as its theme".

With this theme in mind I have decided to implement a strategy that will get the Abs into awesome shape. Nothing looks more impressive than a well built physique with a six pack of well defined abs in front of it. Remembering that 50% of good results showing the Abs comes from the kitchen (your diet), I will present below a routine that guarantees quick results.

The routine is composed of 7 abdominal exercises carefully chosen to hit both the upper and lower abs. You will note that no direct oblique work is present. The reason for that is the fact that in my experience, direct oblique work only leads to a wider waistline. Besides, obliques get enough indirect stimulation from exercises like Squats, Deadlifts, Sit-ups, etc.

So having said that, below is the list of the Magnificent Seven:

Exercise 1 Sit-Ups

PRIMARY TARGET: Upper Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Lower Abs and Obliques

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your legs secured under a piece of heavy furniture (I am assuming that you are doing this routine at home).
  2. Place your hands by your chest.
  3. Flexing your abdominals, raise your torso until you are in nearly a sitting position.
  4. Retaining tension on the abs, lower your torso to the beginning position. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth).

Exercise 2 Leg Raises

PRIMARY TARGET: Lower Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Upper Abs and Obliques

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands at your sides by the floor for support.
  3. Flexing your lower abdominals, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Retaining tension on the abs, lower your legs to the beginning position. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to let your legs drop on the negative portion of the movement).

Exercise 3 Lying Leg Raise+Crunch

PRIMARY TARGET: Upper and Lower Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Obliques

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands at your sides by the floor for support.
  3. Flexing your lower abdominals, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  4. At this time, raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor.
  5. Retaining tension on the abs, lower your legs to the beginning position and then bring your torso to the starting position as well. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth).

Exercise 4 Knee-Ins

PRIMARY TARGET: Lower Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Upper Abs and Obliques

  1. Sit on the floor (or on the edge of a chair or exercise bench) with your legs extended in front of you and your hands holding on to the sides for support.
  2. Keeping your knees together, pull your knees in towards your chest until you can go no farther.
  3. Keeping the tension on your lower ab muscles, return to the start position and repeat the movement until you have completed your set.

Exercise 5 Toe Touchers

PRIMARY TARGET: Upper and Lower Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Obliques

  1. Sit on the floor (or on the edge of a chair or exercise bench) with your legs extended in front of you and your hands holding on to the sides for support.
  2. Simultaneously bring your legs up as far as possible while at the same time bringing your torso towards them.
  3. Return to the start position and repeat the movement until you have completed your set. (Note: This is a modified version of a V-Up. In a true V-Up your starting position is lying down on the floor and bringing yourself up with no arm support).

Exercise 6 Crunches

PRIMARY TARGET: Upper Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Lower Abs and Obliques

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs in front of you bent at the knees.
  2. Place your hands by your chest.
  3. At this time, raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor.
  4. Retaining tension on the abs, bring your torso to the starting position. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth).

Exercise 7 Reverse Crunch

PRIMARY TARGET: Upper and Lower Abs
SECONDARY TARGET: Obliques

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands at your sides by the floor for support.
  3. Slowly bend your legs at the knees bringing them towards your chest.
  4. Once the knees are by your chest, raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor.
  5. Return your legs to the starting position and bring your torso back to the floor.

Sets, Reps and Rest in Between Sets

Each exercise is to be done for 3 sets each of as many reps as possible. There are many ways to perform this routine. I like to do a superset of exercises 1 and 2, rest 30 seconds, superset 3 and 4, rest 30 seconds, superset 5 & 6, rest 30 seconds and perform exercise 7. After exercise 7, I rest 1 minute and start the sequence again two more times for a total of three sets.

This is just the way that I like to do it. You may want to do it in the more traditional way of doing 3 sets for sit-ups (with no more than 60 seconds of rest in between sets) and after those three sets move on to the next exercise etc. It is really up to you. My personal goal is to be able at the end of 12 weeks to do the seven exercises in a big giant set all at once.

Note that this is an advanced abdominal routine. I would not recommend it for absolute beginners. Beginners would be better off just performing 3 exercises out of those seven for just two sets each and a minute of rest in between sets. From there on start building up endurance and start adding exercises and sets over a period of time.

When To Perform The Routine

Lately I have been doing abs and aerobics (I do my Abs first and then do my aerobics) first thing in the morning and weight training in the afternoon. That way I get to spike up my metabolism twice a day. If you rather do all in one session, then this is the order in which I would do it:

  1. Abdominal Routine (Great warmup before the weight training session)
  2. Weight Training
  3. Aerobics

Frequency

You may perform this routine a minimum of 3 days per week with the maximum being every day. However, keep in mind that you will not get to see your abs unless you are eating slightly less calories than your body burns. Remember that I am not talking about starvation here.

I am referring to 5-6 small meals a day (for men) and 4-5 small meals (for women) composed of roughly 40% carbs, 40% Protein and 20% Fats each (people with higher metabolisms may need a bit more carbs). In addition, ensure that you are doing at least 3 days of cardiovascular work.

Modifications

If you cannot do an exercise due to lower back injuries for instance then feel free to substitute it for an exercise that does not bother your back.

If on the other hand, you have a healthy lower back and would like to add a bit of mass to your abs, I would just do the routine three times a week and use some resistance in the exercises.

Instructions For Quickest Results

Assuming that you are an advanced bodybuilder the quickest results will come from performing this routine on a daily basis in conjunction with aerobic exercise first thing in the morning.

Conclusions

Please remember that if your diet is not dialed in neither will be your abs no matter how much cardio or exercise you do. So stick to your diet, weight train hard, and bomb those abs. Come Spring and Summer and I guarantee that if you have paid your dues you will have a better midsection than the one you have now.


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About The Author

Eating food will not make you fat; only abusing the quantities of the bad foods will. After listening to that statement, Hugo decided to kick the anor

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Raj1742

This is a fantastic workout I performed 2 cycles and for the next couple of days my ab's were sore. I conclude it is really effective with cardio in my routine. It's good for strength building/maintaining the current muscle for the abs as well I' say.

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