The vast majority of guys at your gym, on your rec team, and in your office likely desire the “six-pack abs” they see on the cover of your favorite fitness magazines.  Let’s face it—although women vehemently deny these desires, they too want you to have strong and lean abs.  Across the broad spectrum of physique enhancement, perhaps the most debated and ambiguous topic is the process of forging a strong and lean abdomen.

Beyond the kitchen, where abs are made as “they” say, there have been abdominal exercises thought to develop the ever-elusive six-pack.  There is a new age of abdominal exercises in which gains are maximized and overall performance is optimized.  As a strong, smart, and skillful man, you’ll want to stay ahead of the game with these moves of the future.

Throw these abdominal exercises into your routine to build a stronger core and carve out a defined midsection. For best results, incorporate them at the end of your workout while building the bulk of your lifting routine around total body exercises.

New-Age Abdominal Exercises

Cable Core Press Variations

abdominal exercises

Commonly referred to as the “Pallof Press” and made popular by elite professionals Tony Gentilcore and Eric Cressey, this exercise will recruit all of your anterior core muscles.  Much like a plank does in a different plane, the Cable Core Press requires your body to resist a specific resistance.  As you resist the rotational pull, the muscles of your anterior core are activated to an intensity level that matches the chosen resistance.  Dynamic in nature, the Cable Core Press also emphasizes a slow and controlled pause at the movement’s end.  Here’s how to get started:

  1. Position yourself lateral to the cable pulley/cable attachment.
  2. Pull the cable away from the anchor point and interlock the fingers firmly, beginning at your center chest.
  3. Once positioned at the center chest and with your lower body in an athletic position, slowly press straight out to full extension.
  4. Now at full extension, finish your expiration and pause briefly before bringing the cable back to center chest.

Note: There are several variation of the Cable Core Press including; half-kneeling, full-kneeling, and simply holding the resistance at extension for time.

Suspension Trainer Variations

abdominal exercises

There are several different suspension trainer models and brands but they are all generally inspired by the Randy Hetrick- designed TRX Suspension Trainer.  In their simplest forms and statements of purpose, suspension trainers are tools which will allow you to leverage your body weight for a plethora of core-activating movements.  Its role in forging your six-pack begins with the standard plank.  With the suspension trainer, all of your favorite plank variations are maximized as the feet are elevated and your abs fight to maintain stability.  Become skilled with your gym’s suspension trainer and the strength of your core will seem limitless.

Standard Plank

  1. Place your toes through the feet straps attached below the handles.
  2. Once your feet are in, move into your plank of choice.


Advanced Variation: Swinging Knee-Ups

  1. abdominal exercisesBegin with the afore-mentioned standard plank.
  2. Drive both knees forward towards one elbow.
  3. Alternate this movement for time or reps

Note: Make sure your movements are controlled and dominate each variation with proper form.