The trick to a great stomach doesn’t come from a pill bottle or an infomercial product.  Ask anyone with a great stomach what thier secret is and their answer will be ….suprise suprise.. lots of ab exercises and a healthy diet.

I personally am on an eternal quest to find the right set of ab routines to accompany my diet.  For a while there I was doing a whole variety of routines 3 to 4 times a week.  One of which was the Ab Ripper X routine straight out of the ever so popular P-90X program.

Then I came across some research which stated that heavy weighted abs were more effective at building muscle and buring fat than the high repition ab routines.  So which is it?

My personal opinion is both.  Your abdominals are a thin layer of muscles that play a crucial role in your posture and are very tough to actually bulk up.  They are used all the time which is why unlike most muscles in your body can be trained nearly every day.  Like the other muscle groups in your body though, they are programmed to adapt to the circumstances you put them through.  So if you did high rep abdominals all of the time then you will adapt and cease progress.  Likewise if you did resistance based ab exercises all of the time you would adapt unless you kept upping the weight.

So what do I reccomend doing for a sexy stomach?……..VARIETY

4-5 Ab routines a week or roughly 10-15 minutes worth of abs per workout. Alternate resistance and high rep workouts throughout the week.

My favorite ab exercises are circuits which involve lifts, twists, and sit-ups. This is usually going to be about 4-5 exercises combined into a circuit which I run through several times :

Here is one of my favorite circuits:

1. Swiss Ball Leg Lifts- Lay back on a swiss ball and grab a set of spin bike handlebars or a smith machine bar at ball height level .  Keep your legs straight and together.  Elevate them from 0-80 degrees and then back to flat. Do one set of 15-25 repitions.

2. Swiss Ball Sky Grabbers:

Place your toes against a wall or mirror and sitback on a swiss ball so that the angle of your knee bend is about 70 degrees.  Lay flat on the ball and point your hands directly towards the ceiling at eye level.  Advanced users hold a medicine  ball  during this exercise.   Then raise your torso about 3 inches off of the swiss ball and reach for the ceiling.  Do about 20 of these.

3 Swiss Ball Lumber Jacks:

While sitting on the swiss ball toes against a wall or mirror, widen your stance so that it equals roughly 1.5 times your shoulder width. Then lay back on the ball with your hands over your head.  Roll your torso to the left and rotate your arms to your side as if you were swinging an axe in slow motion.  Then come back around to center and repeat to your right side.  Thats 1 repition.  Do roughly 15-20 reps.  Hold a medicine ball or plate if you really want to challenge yourself.

4. Swiss Ball soccer style throw ins.

Place your toes against a wall or mirror and sitback on a swiss ball so that the angle of your knee bend is about 70 degrees.  Lay flat on the ball and bend your hands directly over your head as iff you were throwing in a soccer ball. Once again for advanced users, hold a medicine ball or small wieght.   Keeping your hands over your head at all times, elevate your torso up off of the ball about 50 degrees extend your elbows slowy out and return back to the starting position.  If you are doing these correctly, it should look like you are doing a slow motion soccer throw-in while laying on a swiss ball. Shoot for 15-20 repititions.

Repeat the circuit 2-3 more times and you are done with abs for that day.

Remember: Do not do this every day rather work it in a series of circuits that you will do throughout the week. Form is everything here!  If you are losing your posture then decrease the weight. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE! You will see better results if you keep a slow and controlled tempo throughout your exercises.  Stay tuned– we will post a video of this routine soon.