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Many fitness enthusiasts – even those with intermediate experience – have trouble figuring out the right way to train their abs. Some people train them every day, while others never train them because they believe their core gets enough activity during other workouts. Both groups are wrong. This article will clear the air about abdominal training and outline a killer HIIT ab workout.
Understanding Abdominal Training
Our abs might look different from other muscle groups, but they stretch and contract like any other muscle. You shouldn’t have to perform special training or unorthodox exercises to grow your abs. Planks, static holds, burpees, and similar exercises might improve your core strength, but they’re not making your abs bigger.
Instead of those flashy stabilization exercises, you need to perform movements that create spinal flexion. You must bend and stretch the spine to activate your abdominal muscles. We’ll talk more about this concept during the workout.
You also shouldn’t train your abs every day. Just like other groups, they need time to rest and recover. Train them with a handful of exercises at least once a week and eat the proper diet to see results. With all misconceptions cleared up, let’s start the workout!
Modded’s HIIT Ab Workout
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an advantageous training technique for abs and other smaller muscle groups. Rather than dragging out the workout for over an hour, you can get sufficient training from a 30-minute HIIT workout without tiring the rest of your body. You should easily be able to fit this workout into your schedule without disrupting the rest of your routine.
Each area of the abdomen – upper abs, lower abs, obliques and serratus – deserves special attention. We carefully chose a group of exercises to target each area:
- Upper Abs: ab wheel rollouts, bicycle crunches
- Lower Abs: hanging leg raises, floor leg raises
- Obliques/Serratus: hanging leg twists, bicycle crunches
These exercises are the best of the best because they share one thing in common: spinal flexion. Your spine doesn’t remain in a straight position. It bends and curves, forcing the abs to contract and stabilize your body. Try to visualize that stretch and contraction as you perform each exercise.
Make sure your gym has the necessary equipment:
- A bar to hang from
- Ab wheel
- Decline bench with leg attachment
- Yoga mat (optional)
It won’t take long for your abs to get exhausted with some of these movements, so we kept the timing of this HIIT workout within a moderate range. Let’s start with the lower abs, then work our way up. Get your timer ready and begin!
- Hanging leg raises: Four sets, 30 seconds on, 1:00 off.
- Floor leg raises: Three sets, 1:00 on, 1:00 off.
- Ab wheel rollouts: Four sets, 1:00 on, 1:30 off.
- Bicycle crunches: Five sets, 45 seconds on, 1:00 off.
- Hanging leg twists: Four sets, 45 seconds on, 1:00 off.
If you stick to the designated times, this 20-set workout should only take about 35 minutes. Your abs will be fried, and you can leave the gym knowing you made a small improvement. That’s what fitness is all about. Achieve your goals one workout at a time. Staying focused on the task at hand will make your workouts more productive.
Rethink Your Ab Training
If you’ve been training abs every day (or not training them at all), you need to scrap your old plans and rethink your ab training. The abdominal muscles work exactly the same as your other muscle groups, so you must train them accordingly. Do this HIIT ab workout twice a week and transform your physique!