3-step abs - ball/bell/bench combo

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Medicine ball curl up


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Sets: 3  Reps: 10
The medicine ball adds resistance to fatigue your muscles. Holding it above your head increases the lever length, which also makes the exercise harder.

  • Curl up slowly without throwing your shoulders forwards.
  • Lower your torso under control and maintain tension in your abs.

Gym ball dumb-bell Russian twist


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Sets: 3  Reps: 8 each side
The dumb-bell works your side abs as your core fights to stabilise your body on the insecure platform of the gym ball

  • Don't let your core collapse or your lower back round as you rotate.
  • Avoid bouncing up from the ball as you lower.

Decline sit-ups


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Sets: 3  Reps: 12
Doing this bodyweight exercise quickly will exhaust the abs fully and safely without you having to use added resistance at the end of the workout.

  • Crunch up without pulling on your head or neck.
  • Don't over-extend your lower back on the way down.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.