man doing sit up

Let’s face it: you’ve hit a wall when it comes to abs. Your results aren’t what they used to be. You’ve plateaued, and there’s no level-up in sight. Really, if you’re being honest, you’ve never gotten to the point where your abs were even really visible. What’s a dude to do? Besides changing your diet, you could implement these 2 workouts into your routine today to revamp your progress and see peaks yet again!

Let’s start simple:

The Plank

I’m sure this one is nothing new to you, but it’s easily forgotten over seemingly more-complex ab workouts. But we are looking for results (in the form of strength and tone), not mere gymnological showmanship (yes, I did just make up the word “gymnological” just now).

It’s a simple enough exercise. Merely get in the push-up position, except instead of facing your palms flat on the floor, you’ll be resting on your forearms instead. After you have assumed the position, just sit there. Feel your abdominals start to contracts almost immediately. Try and do this for 45 seconds, or if you are already in decent shape, 1 minute to a minute and a half.

Make sure your ass isn’t fanning upward. Keep your entire body more or less straight, or else you are missing out on the benefits. As always, form is everything when working out. If you’re doing it wrong or can’t hold the position correctly, then stop, rest, and try again. Or, hold it for as long as it’s possible for you to maintain proper form, and then work up to longer periods of time.

Next-Level Tip: Once you reach a certain plateau, you can add weights to your lower back to make holding the position more difficult. This will make that easy minute turn into a grueling one that feels more like an hour.

Now… how about a more advanced ab workout to round out the abdominals?

The Slow Reflex Sit-Up

This one is interesting. It requires some investment, but not more than $15 bucks. You need to get a Swiss Ball; even better if you can get a good deal on a used Bosu Ball from a soccer mom who gave up her workout routine last New Year’s.

Timing is important here, but first, a word on form. With your feet on the ground, sit on the ball. Move the ball back so that you are basically laying on the ball with the contact point at your lower back; your feet should still be planted on the ground – your body in a sort of L shape with the fulcrum of the L shape at the knees. Basically, your entire body from your knees up should be parallel to both the floor and the ceiling.

Now, on to the exercise. Crossing your arms across your chest or keeping them at your sides, flex your waist and curl your torso upwards until you feel a contraction in your abs. Don’t cross them behind your neck or head; this will cause neck strain. Make sure to keep your hips still, and your lower back in contact with the ball at all times. Repeat for however many times you wish; 15 strong ones with good form isn’t a bad beginning.

Next-Level Tip: Hold a dumbbell or a weight plate at arm’s length to add resistance to this exercise and really get the burn going in your abs. You’ll feel like your abs were chiseled by Michelangelo himself in no time at all!