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The 30-Minute Abs Workout

Got half an hour, three times a week? Follow this routine for a belly-busting, torso-tautening, molded-in-steel midsection.
Julie Clapperton

Most of us don't have a half an hour a day, six days a week like the plan Lukas Prokes follows. But the trainer says doing his Six-Pack Attack! workout, the class he teaches at New York's David Barton Gym, even just three times a week gets results. "There's one guy in my class who just started two months ago. The other day he showed me his six-pack," Prokes told MF

Intensity is the key to this abs workout. Put some high-energy tunes on the iPod, and move quickly from one movement to the next, resting only where directed.

The Workout:

1. Warming Up

2. Mountain Climbers

3. Floor Work with Dumbbells

4. Floor Work without Weights

5. Standing Work with Bar

6. Floor Work with Plates

7. Floor Work (Works Lower Abs)

8. Go into Plank Position

1. Warming Up

Warmup: Jumping jacks, 2 minutes, then:

Warmup/Obliques
Step 1 Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
Step 2 Bring right arm out to 90° angle, with hand behind head, fingers lightly at ears.
Step 3 Crunch to side, bringing elbow to knee at waist level.
Step 4 Moving fast, do 10/20 reps, then switch sides.

2. Mountain Climbers (three moves, follow in order)

Move 1
Step 1 On the floor, get in basic push-up position, arms in line with your chest.
Step 2 Bring right knee up to chest, then back to original position.
Step 3 Alternate movement with left leg. Motion mimics climbing a mountain.
Step 4 Move rapidly and do exercise for 30 secs. Then, move to:

Move 2
Step 1 On the floor, get in basic push-up position, arms in line with your chest.
Step 2 Bring right knee in and across, to left elbow.
Step 3 Do 10 each side, then move to:

Move 3
Step 1 On the floor, get in basic push-up position, arms in line with your chest.
Step 2 Bring right knee to outside of right elbow (works the obliques).
Step 3 Do 10 each side

3. Floor Work with Dumbbells (three crunch moves, follow in order)

Move 1
Step 1 Lie on your back, knees bent at 90° angles, feet flat on floor.
Step 2 Hold a 10-lb dumbbell in each hand (use a lighter weight, or no weight, if it's too much), upper arms perpendicular to body, as if you're about to do a chest press.
Step 3 Crunch forward, bringing arms straight up and touching dumbbells. Exhale all the air out on the move up, inhaling to your belly on the way down.

Step 4 Do 20 reps; hold last crunch for 10 seconds, drop weights and relax for a few seconds, then:

Move 2
Step 1 Lie on your back and bend your knees to a 90° angle, raising thighs perpendicular to the floor. Step 2 Hold a 10-lb dumbbell in each hand (use a lighter weight, or no weight, if it's too much), upper arms perpendicular to body, as if you're about to do a chest press.

Step 3 Holding weight, arms straight ahead, crunch forward, exhaling all the air out on upward movement, inhaling deeply on downward move.

Step 4 Do 20 reps, hold last crunch for 20 seconds, drop weights and relax for a few seconds, then:

Move 3
Step 1 Lie on your back and bring legs straight up in the air. Step 2 Holding weight, keep arms straight out and crunch forward, bringing weights to front of raised legs. Exhale all the air out on upward movement, inhale deeply on downward move. Step 3 Do 20 reps, hold last crunch for 20 seconds, drop weights, relax for a few seconds.

4. Floor Work without Weights

Move 1:
Step 1 Lie flat on floor, right leg straight out, left leg bent at 90° angle, foot on floor.
Step 2 Place right hand lightly behind head. On exhale, bring elbow to left knee.
Step 3 Do 10 reps, switch sides for 10 more, then:

Move 2:
Step 1 Lie flat on floor with both knees at 90°, feet flat on the floor.
Step 2 Keeping arms straight at sides, crunch forward, exhaling on way up.
Step 3 Do 10 reps.

Repeat both moves above in order two more times.

5. Standing Work with Bar

Move 1:
Step 1 Hold a bar underhand in front of you. Step 2 Bend knees to slight squat.

Step 3 Curl bar up, bringing one knee up at the same time.

Step 4 Do 10 reps, switch sides for 10 more, shake it out.

Move 2:
Step 1 Hold bar behind neck, resting on shoulders.

Step 2 Touch right elbow to right knee, then left elbow to left knee, working obliques.
Step 3 Do 10 reps.

Move 3:
Step 1 Hold bar behind neck, resting on shoulders
Step 2 Bend knees slightly in squat position.
Step 2 Keep head straight ahead, and in short, fast movements, twist torso from side to side.
Step 4 Do 10 reps each side.

Repeat three moves above consecutively, doing of five of each, with no break.

6. Floor Work with Plates

Move 1:
Step 1 Lie with your back flat on the floor and bend your knees to a 90° angle, thighs raised perpendicular to the floor.
Step 2 Hold a 5-lb plate (or less; proper form is key here) in each hand and crunch forward, bringing arms straight up while straightening legs up in the air. Exhale all the air out on upward movement, inhale deeply on downward move.
Step 3 Do 10/20 reps.

Move 2:
Step 1 Lie with your back flat on the floor, both knees bent a 90° angle, feet flat on the floor.
Step 2 Hold a 5-lb plate (or a weight that lets you keep a strict form) in each hand and crunch forward, bringing plate up and over to opposite knee. Exhale all the air out on upward movement, inhale deeply on downward move.
Step 3 Do 10 reps, drop weights, rest.

Repeat both moves above in order for 10 reps each.

7. Floor Work (Works Lower Abs)

Move 1:
Step 1 Lie flat on floor, arms next to body.
Step 2 Flex your lower abs and on exhale, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
Step 3 Lower legs slowly, stopping about 1" from floor, inhaling on downward move.
Step 3 Hold for a second, then bring legs back up.
Step 4 Do 10 reps.

Move 2:
Step 1 Lie flat on floor, arms next to body, legs straight up in the air.
Step 2 Lower right leg, keeping left leg in the air, to about 1" from floor.
Step 3 Alternate with left leg.
Step 4 Do 10 reps.

Move 3:
Step 1 Lie flat on floor, legs straight on floor, arms next to body.
Step 2 Flex your lower abs and on exhale, raise your legs halfway up and open legs out sideways in slow motion, then bring them back together.
Step 3 Do 10 reps, release to floor.

Repeat all three moves in order for 10 reps each.

8. Go into Plank Position

Step 1 Go up on elbows, keeping them in line with shoulders.
Step 2 Making sure butt is up and head and spine are all one line.
Step 3 Hold for 30 seconds.
Step 4 Drop, then go back into plank position for 40 seconds.
Step 5 Drop, then plank for 45 seconds.
Step 6 Drop and go into child's-pose stretch, then come up, raising chest, 3 times.

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