how to progress your lower ab workout from easy to challenging


Low body fat may help your waistline appear lean, but that doesn’t mean your abs have the peaks and valleys to make your midsection pop. Here’s a routine that uses added resistance beyond your body weight to signal muscle growth, helping transform a merely flat or underdeveloped washboard into a three-dimensional, topographical six-pack. The workout is also balanced between the three key areas of the midsection—the upper abs, lower abs, and the obliques—to ensure top-to-bottom, side-to-side development.

To thicken up the bricks of the rectus abdominis (six-pack), you’ll choose a resistance so that you reach muscle failure at a fairly low rep target, about 8-12. This relatively heavier weight is superior for building muscle compared to high-rep bodyweight exercises. Similarly, if you want to build thicker obliques, continue to use a fairly low rep target. Many lifters aren’t looking to build a blockier midsection, so they instead choose slightly lighter weights on oblique movements.


If your goal is to get lean, obviously diet and cardio play increasingly important roles in your ultimate success. But you can tailor your workout such that it helps you chisel your middle using bodyweight movements for slightly higher rep targets.

You can do more work in less time—and really increase the muscle burn—by adding supersets, which link back-to-back exercises so that you rest only after completing both moves. Striving to progressively reduce rest intervals will also, over time, increase the intensity, making your midsection work harder, and ultimately burn more calories.