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The Ultimate Ab Workout For Men, the sequel to the best-selling Abs Diet By David Zinczenko from MensHealth.com

Looking for a more intense ab workout with a pair of dumbbells, check out Top 5 Dumbbell Core Exercises For Men.

PREVENT INJURIES!
Research shows that men with the best-conditioned abdominal muscles – guys who can perform at least 73 situps in 2 minutes – are five times less likely to suffer a lower-body injury than those who can knock out only 50.

IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE!
Tight lower-back muscles from excessive running pull your spine out of natural alignment. Strengthening your abs can correct this muscular imbalance, improving your body’s posture to allow it to function properly.

LIVE LONGER!
A Canadian study of more than 8,000 people over 13 years found that those with the weakest abdominal muscles had a death rate more than twice that of the people with the strongest midsections.

LIFT MORE!
A stronger core supports your spine, so you can lift more weight in every exercise. Case in point: Canadian researchers found that men bench-pressed 40 percent more on a stable surface – which best supported their spines – than on an unstable surface.

More six pack abs: The Science and Myth Of Getting Six Pack Abs Infographics

THE WORKOUT

This routine attacks your midsection from every angle, so your abs are constantly challenged. Choose one exercise from each section, for a total of five. Perform one move immediately after the other for the specified number of repetitions, then repeat the circuit. After 4 weeks, choose the exercise in each group that you didn’t perform in your previous workouts. This ensures that your muscles are always adapting to new stress.

This interval routine is designed to strip away the excess flab that’s hiding your six-pack. Do it 3 days a week, after your weight session or on the days in between. Use your mode of choice – a treadmill, stationary bike, or rowing machine.

STEP 1: Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at an easy pace, about 30 to 40 percent of your best effort.

STEP 2: Run, cycle, or row at 95 percent of your highest effort for 30 seconds.

STEP 3: Perform active rest, slowing back down to your warmup speed for 90 seconds.

STEP 4: Repeat five to seven times.

STEP 5: Once you can complete eight intervals, reduce the length of your active rest periods by 5 to 10 seconds each workout, until they’re only 30 seconds long.

STANDING CABLE CRUNCH

Attach a rope to a high-pulley cable. Stand with your back to the weight stack and hold one end of the rope on the left side of your head and the other end on the right.

Crunch your torso down. Pause, then return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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WEIGHTED CRUNCH

Lie on your back with your knees bent, and hold a weight plate or dumbbell on your chest. (If that’s too hard, just do a traditional crunch.) Slowly crunch up, bringing your shoulder blades off the floor. Pause, then lower yourself to the starting position.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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PULSE-UP

Lie with your hands under your tailbone and your legs extended straight up toward the ceiling, perpendicular to your torso.

Lift your hips off the floor in a straight line. Pause, then lower your hips .

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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FIGURE-8 CRUNCH

Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, squeezing a light medicine ball tightly between them, and place your feet flat on the floor. Place your fingers behind your ears, then slowly raise your head, shoulders, and feet off the floor.

Keeping your torso up, move your knees in a figure-8 motion. Each figure-8 is one repetition.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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MEDICINE-BALL TORSO ROTATION

Hold a medicine ball or basketball in front of you as you kneel and sit back on your heels. Quickly twist to your left and set the ball down behind your back.

Twist to the right and pick up the ball, then bring it around to your left and set it down again. That’s one repetition.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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SIDE JACKKNIFE

Lie on your left side, with your legs nearly straight and slightly raised off the floor. Also, lift your torso off the floor, with your left forearm on the floor for balance. Hold your other hand behind your right ear, with your elbow pointed toward your feet. Lift your legs toward your torso while keeping your torso stationary. Pause to feel the contraction on the right side of your waist. Then slowly lower your legs and repeat. Finish the set, then switch sides.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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TWO-POINT BRIDGE

Assume the standard pushup position. Lift your right arm and left leg off the floor at the same time. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then lower them. That’s one repetition.

Return to the starting position, then repeat, lifting your left arm and right leg this time.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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NEGATIVE CRUNCH

Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. (Tuck your feet under weights to maintain balance.) Extend your arms in front of you with your fingers interlaced.

Begin with your upper body at slightly less than a 90-degree angle to the floor. Lower your upper body toward the floor, curling your torso forward, rounding your lower back, and keeping your abs contracted. When your upper body reaches a 45-degree angle to the floor, return to the starting position.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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BACK EXTENSION

Position yourself in a back-extension station, and hook your feet under the leg anchor. Hold your arm straight

Lace your hands behind your head. Lower your torso, allowing your lower back to round slightly, until it’s just short of perpendicular to the floor. Pause, then raise your upper body until it’s slightly above parallel to the floor. At this point, you should have a slight arch in your back, and your shoulder blades should be pulled together.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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TWISTING BACK EXTENSION

Position yourself in a back-extension station, and hook your feet under the leg anchor. Lace your hands behind your head. Lower your torso, allowing your lower back to round slightly, until it’s just short of perpendicular to the floor. Raise and twist your upper body until it’s in line with your hips and facing right. That’s one repetition. Repeat the move, this time twisting to your left.

Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

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Workout by: David Zinczenko: MensHealth.com