What Is a Good Ab Workout Routine?

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A good abdominal workout routine should result in a streamlined waist, reduction in flab and etched abdominal muscles, according to Jim Stoppani, PhD, in an article describing the program he designed to build powerful abdominal muscles. Stoppani explains that in addition to the exercises, it is critical to eat a low-fat diet. Stoppani also believes that crunches are not the most effective abdominal workout.

Stoppani's program uses a variety of weight training exercises to achieve results. He recommends starting at a moderate level with four exercises completed with various repetitions. After a few weeks, the intensity of the workouts is increased. The initial exercises in Stoppani's workout program are the weighted plank, one-arm deadlift, medicine-ball thrust and dumbbell crunch.

The weighted plank consists of lying facedown with a 25- to 45-pound plate on the back. The exerciser presses up onto his forearms and toes, and holds for 30 seconds. This should be repeated for two sets, one repetition per set. To complete the one-arm deadlift, stand with the feet shoulder-length apart, bend, pick up a heavy dumbbell and lift it to the hip. Repeat this process for two sets of six repetitions.

The medicine-ball thrust requires lying on the back with a medicine ball between the feet. The feet are lifted and suspended for several seconds. This is repeated for two sets of eight repetitions. Finally, the dumbbell crunch is performed by lying faceup on the floor and lifting dumbbells in both hands overhead. The shoulders and upper back are lifted off the ground. This is repeated for two sets and six repetitions.