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The 20-minute workout routine to get hard ‘core’ abs

Get a ripped midsection—fast—with this challenging four-day program.

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Bicycle Crunch
franckreporter / Getty
Bicycle Crunch
franckreporter / Getty

Rippled and defined abs are perhaps one of the most sought-after features of any fit guy. And that’s because they are incredibly difficult to attain and maintain.

Lucky for you, we’ve curated an (admittedly) intensive four-day regimen to get you the midsection you want—and fast. Complete this side-splitting program on a weekly basis, and hone your way to clear results.

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How it works

It’s easy to knock out a few crunches or situps at the end of a workout and believe you’ve worked your core. But effective abs work should never be an afterthought.

Plan your core work on days in-between regular lifting. You’ll get better results—an even more shredded torso and core. To avoid over-training, we’ve limited the workouts to three exercises per session. That’s plenty. The moves will challenge your balance and stability, and require only 20 minutes.

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Directions

Perform two core workouts per week for four weeks in-between your main workouts.

The three exercises in each workout will vary. Perform them as a circuit, completing one set for each, one after the other, and resting as little as possible in-between. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets.

Routine

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Workout 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 2

Bicycle Crunch

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 2

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 2

Back Extension

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--

Workout 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 4 of 2

Barbell Rollout

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 2

Horizontal Cable Woodchop

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
--
Reps
--
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 2

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--

Workout 3

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 2

Mountain Climber

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--
Execute this exercise from a plank position, forearms flat on the floor.
Exercise 8 of 2

Horizontal Cable Woodchop

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 2

Medicine Ball Russian Twist

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
20 (each side)
Rest
--

Workout 4

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 10 of 2

Renegade Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12 (each side)
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 2

Situp

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Set an adjustable bench to a decline and lie back on it, securing your legs in the braces.

Workout 5

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 12 of 2

Bicycle Crunch

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 13 of 2

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 14 of 2

Back Extension

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--

Workout 6

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 15 of 2

Barbell Rollout

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 2

Horizontal Cable Woodchop

Equipment
Cable Machine
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 17 of 2

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
25
Rest
--

Workout 7

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 18 of 2

Mountain Climber

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
25
Rest
--
Execute this exercise from a plank position, forearms flat on the floor.
Exercise 19 of 2

Russian Twist

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
25
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 2

Back Extension

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
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