The best abs workouts

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In This Series

The key to building a rock-hard six-pack is to work your abs hard, regularly and from various angles to tax the different types of muscle fibre.

However, training your abs exclusively won’t lead to a chiselled midriff. For that you need to elicit a big growth hormone response from your body, which will add muscle everywhere – and this in turn will have the added benefit of burning lots of body fat, helping to reveal your impressive abs muscles. So doing compound moves that hit numerous muscle groups is the best way to build an impressive physique from top to toe while also giving you a six-pack – and that’s exactly what this month’s main workout will deliver.

All three sessions in this programme are divided into three parts. The first is a pair of compound lifts that will test your major muscle groups while also recruiting your abs to stabilise your body. The second is a single tough move to work different muscles while still asking your abs to help out. The final superset is abs-specific to blitz those muscles for maximum response.

How to do the workouts

Warm up using the guide at the start of each workout. Perform a set of exercise 1A, rest for the time indicated and then perform a set of exercise 1B. Repeat until all sets of 1A and 1B are completed. Then move on to exercise 2 and complete all the sets. Finish by doing 3A and 3B as a superset, which means you complete a set of the first then immediately do a set of the second without resting.

Matt joined Men’s Fitness in April 2014 as features writer after spending several years writing for a luxury lifestyle magazine, swapping champagne and canapés for cardio and leg days.

Matt is a keen Thai boxer and his interest in fitness took off when he made the decision to compete semi-professionally and had to get in shape. Training aside, he says the worst thing about fighting is resisting the urge to apologise all the time. 

Oh, and he’s still on the look out for a decent fight nickname after being told ‘The Best’ was reaching a little bit…

Favourite move: Any kind of squat variation

Favourite sport: MMA and Muay Thai kickboxing

Personal best: Competing in a semi-pro K1 bout

Targets: Sub-1hr 40m half marathon and winning a fight by KO

Scariest MF moment: Writing about myself in the third-person for this profile

Favourite MF website story: Spider-Man workout

Favourite trainer quote: ‘Hands up, chin down’ – every striking coach ever

Biggest gym crime: Avoiding the weights and sticking to the treadmill