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The Perfect Abs Workout (Sets and Reps Included)

Take your abs and core to the next level.

Try the perfect abs workout, as created by Jeff from Athlean X.

The Perfect Abs Workout

“The perfect abs workout should consist of exercises for not just the six pack or rectus abdominis but other important muscles of the core as well.  That said, even that doesn’t make the ab workout complete.  In order to round out your midsection you will need to hit the obliques, transverse abdominis and serratus with a variety of carefully selected ab exercises to hit every function of the abs in the right sequence. That is what we do in this video.”

The Perfect Abs Workout

“The problem with ab focused training isn’t just that it trains simply a fraction of what the core muscles are capable of but also that many people choose the wrong exercises or ones that duplicate the same function.  For instance, if you look at the basic crunch, you will see that there are many different ways to perform it.  Most of them are just duplications of the same top down motion.  Putting too many of these too early in your ab workout is going to make it nearly impossible to perform the more difficult lower ab movements or rotational oblique exercises later on.”

barbell abs exercises v cut absSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

The Perfect Abs Workout

“You see, there is a specific sequence of ab exercises that is going to give you the best chance of performing them with optimal energy.  You ideally want to start with movements that move the legs towards the rib cage.  The weight of the legs alone can be enough resistance to challenge the muscles of the abs (particularly if you are a beginner).  General fatigue from your ab workout is going to make it imperative that you start here.  Then, you want to incorporate rotation into these lower ab movements, followed by the rotationally driven oblique exercises.  Finish up your routine by transitioning to bottom and top half moving together (in our midrange movements) and then all top down and top down rotational exercises.”

The Perfect Abs Workout

“The final piece of the puzzle is the serratus.  Many people will overlook this muscle as an important core muscle but it truly is.  Because of it’s role in stabilizing the trunk by keeping the shoulder blades in contact with the rib cage, they have an integral role working with the obliques.  Both control rotation.  The obliques controlling the rotation of the entire torso while the serratus are controlling the rotation of the scapula around the rib cage.”

“The other important element of a perfect ab workout is making sure that you hit each of the major functions of the abs and midsection muscles.  It’s not enough to just curl your trunk up as if you are doing a crunch.  The role of the abs is sometimes to prevent motion all together.  In this perfect ab workout, there will be anti-rotational exercises as well as anti-lateral and anti-extension movements.”

The Perfect Abs Workout

“As you make your way through the workout however you also don’t want to miss the chance to train explosively.  When you train like an athlete you always want to speed up what you slow down with your heavier weight training. The sledgehammer swing is a perfect example of this at the advanced level.  Perform this powerful ground based ab exercise explosively and you will learn to use your lower body to generate force that your core has to command.”

“Here is how to construct the perfect abs workout for beginners:”

1. ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds

2. Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)


3. Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds

4. Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds


5. Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side

6. Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds

7. Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds

Here is how to construct the perfect abs workout for more advanced lifters:

1. Hanging ‘X’ Raises x 30-60 seconds

2. Hanging Leg Spirals x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left twists)


3. Tornado Chops x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left chops)

4. Opposite Scissor V Us x 30-60 seconds


5. Sledgehammer Swings x 30-60 seconds each side

6. Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds

7. Plank Punchouts x 30-60 seconds

“When you put this together in the format as I’m suggesting here, you not only now hit the abs through their full functions but you hit them in the best sequence to ensure your success.”

Video – The Perfect Abs Workout

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