3 Moves for Tight, Sexy Abs

Good things come in threes. Three moves, three times a week for rockin’ abs in —you guessed it — three weeks.

April 04, 2016

It’s the age-old question: How often should you exercise your abs to get maximum results? A little bit every day? Hit them hard once a week? Or skip abs training altogether, figuring your core is called into action when you work other muscles?

While it’s always a good idea to switch up your training from time to time, incorporating all of the aforementioned approaches, why not put this simple and effective 3x3x3 workout to the test to see and feel the results for yourself?

Your 3x3x3 Abs Workout

What To Do How Often How To
Perform the number of reps for each exercise, going on to the next move without resting. New to abs training? Do the three-move sequence once in week one, twice in week two, and three times in week three. Advanced? Start with two circuits in week one and three in weeks two and three. Do this workout three times a week on non-consecutive days, such as Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. For best results, train your upper and lower body on the days in between your abs workout, taking one complete day off for rest and recuperation. Warm up with some light cardio for five minutes to get your blood pumping and to help focus your mind on your upcoming workout. Concentrate on using correct form and move in a slow, fluid, controlled manner. Let your muscles – not momentum – do the work!

Stability Ball Roll-Up with Twist

Target Muscles: obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis

Set zp: Start with your hands on the floor, your calves resting on a ball. Angle your hips to the right.

Action: Draw your knees toward your right elbow, then extend. Repeat, drawing your knees to the left. Alternate sides with each rep.

Top Tip: Try to ensure that your lower back doesn’t sag as you extend.

Bicycle Crunch

Target Muscles: internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis

Set Up: Lie faceup with your knees bent, calves parallel to the floor and fingertips placed lightly behind your head.

Action: Lift your upper back from the floor, directing your left elbow to your right knee as you extend your left leg. Repeat on the opposite side for one rep.

Top Tip: Move in a controlled manner and strive to keep both shoulder blades off the ground throughout the entire exercise.

Stability Ball Leg Lift

Target Muscles: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis

Set Up: Start by lying faceup on the floor with a stability ball between your ankles, legs straight and on the ground. Press your palms into the floor a few inches away from your hips for greater stability. Squeeze the ball and lift it, bringing it perpendicular to the floor.

Action: Still squeezing the ball, slowly lower your legs toward the ground, keeping your legs straight as you move. Be sure not to touch the ball to the floor at the bottom of your rep. Lift it slowly to return to the start.

Top Tip: If you feel any strain on your back as you lower the ball, place your hands under your bottom instead of out to the sides.

Stretch It Out

After your routine, stretch your abs for two to three minutes by lying faceup over the stability ball. Reach your arms overhead and extend your legs, keeping your feet on the floor. Breathe, stretch and congratulate yourself on a job well done!