12 Week Ab Workout for Ab Definition & Core Strength

Combine flexion abdominal training with stability abdominal training to build a pair of abs that are not only defined, but also strong and sturdy as well!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
12 weeks
10-20 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Exercise Ball
Male & Female
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Workout Description

We don’t include ab training in a lot of our programs.

And as a result – we get asked a lot “but, what should I do about abs?”

This simple ab and core workout can be incorporated into nearly any workout routine on our website.

While it is basic, it trains the abs in two very critical ways to guarantee you not only build abdominals that will look good when at an appropriate body fat percentage, but will also be strong and sturdy.

The two forms of ab training are broken up into two separate workouts:

  1. One workout focuses on flexion based ab exercises to build that coveted brick-like midsection.
  2. The other focuses more on ab exercises that require stability to perform, as well as exercises for the often neglected glute and low back.

The workouts can be performed between 3-6 times per week. It is recommended to cycle between the two during your workout days.

Ab Workout A: For Defined Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
Ab Machine Crunch 4 12-15
Ab Machine Oblique Crunch 2 12-15 Each
Exercise Ball Ab Crunch 4 20
Hanging Leg Raise 3 8-12
Lying Knee Tucks 3 8-12

Ab Workout B: For Stronger Core

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Rollout 4 8-12
Pallof Press 3 15 Each
Farmers Carry 3 Distance
(Weighted) Hyperextension 3 12-15
(Weighted) Glute Bridge 3 12-15

When it comes to building the abdominal muscles, I think it is important to remember that no two sets of abs will ever look similar. The abdominals are highly based on genetics – some people are born with muscle insertions that will allow them to develop 8 packs, while others are lucky to have 4 visible abs.

Your abs will also never show if you’re not at a reasonable body fat percentage for them to be visible. Therefore, it is important that you pair this workout program with a complete routine on our website to ensure you’re training compound movements that will positively benefit your body composition.

Now that those two points have been highlighted, it is beneficial to maximize your ab training so you can develop the best mid-section possibly. This program does exactly that by combining flexion, stability, and focusing on complete core development.

Give the program a shot and watch as your abs become more developed and your main lifts get stronger.

20 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 10/08/2020 - 22:34

Hey I was wondering what u recommend for rest time in between sets??

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Posted Fri, 10/09/2020 - 09:20

Hey Sean - great question! Keep the rest times between 45-60 seconds between sets.

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Posted Mon, 03/09/2020 - 14:05

I like this workout and have used it in the past, but I think I was doing it differently and I am wondering if I am cheating myself:
I worked it as a circuit, where I went straight from one exercise to the others - then took a 60-90 second rest between sets of the circuit.
Is that acceptable? Optimal? A bad idea? LOL!

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Posted Mon, 03/09/2020 - 14:47

Hi Peter,

That's fine to do. As written, they're meant to be performed as straight sets. But, everyone is different. Either way works.

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Posted Thu, 06/06/2019 - 15:12

What should I do after 12 weeks ? Also, lying knee tucks are way more easy than the other exercises for me.

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Posted Fri, 06/07/2019 - 13:48

Hi Julien,

You could give Coach Myers' 4 week a shot: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/core-strength-road-map

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Posted Tue, 06/11/2019 - 13:47

I’m doing a 4 day mass building training. I’d like to add one ab day to the program you suggest. Should I repeat the day one ? Also, Coach Myers recommend to leave a day off between two ab routine though I’m training on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. What should I do ?

Thanks !

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Posted Wed, 06/12/2019 - 15:16

Hi Julien,

In this instance, I'd generally recommend performing one of the ab training sessions on Mon and the other on Friday. 2 ab training sessions a week should be fine for most gym-goers.

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Posted Fri, 06/14/2019 - 16:59

Hi again Josh,

So, do you think that is good or too much.
Monday : coach Myers
Tuesday : A ab definition
Thursday : B core strength
Friday : coach Myers
Combine with the 10 week mass building program

Thanks a lot !

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Posted Mon, 06/17/2019 - 08:48

Hi Julien,

That looks pretty darn solid to me.

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Posted Sat, 05/04/2019 - 03:31

Leg workout send plz

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 11:41
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Posted Thu, 04/18/2019 - 19:04

How long should be the rest time between the sets? :)

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Posted Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:17

Hi Teosimeon,

30 seconds rest.

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Posted Mon, 01/28/2019 - 02:19

Do i Perform This 6 days in a row

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Posted Mon, 01/28/2019 - 09:24

Hi Netana,

Yes, these can be performed up to 6 days a week (and in a row if that's what your program calls for).

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Posted Wed, 01/23/2019 - 07:32

Do i do A and B together

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 09:45

Hi Netana,

Perform one or the other at the end of your workout, alternating them each time you train.

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 08:58
Jennie O'Brien

Is it ok to use the Roman Chair for the leg raise

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:10

Hi Jennie,

Yes, that would be a fine substitution.