Workout Routines

Your Perfect Body Game Plan: Abs

Engage your entire core with this circuit for shredded abs.

V-Cut Abs
James Michelfelder

Ever since celebrities started showing off those V-shaped cut lines that start below their abs and disappear into their pants, girls have been lusting after them and guys have been gunning for them. Even if you have six-pack abs, though, the V itself is very hard to sculpt for one simple reason—it’s not a muscle. “The V is formed by the inguinal ligaments,” says New York-based personal trainer Ryan George, “and that’s hard to build.” We all have inguinal ligaments, which originate from the hip and run into the pubic region, but most of us have a layer of fat covering it. “If you really want the V-cut to be prominent,” George says, “more important than anything is eating clean so you can achieve really low body fat.” We’re talking 8% (for help with that, refer back to No. 1). That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are exercises that target the obliques and transversus abdominis that can indirectly engage it and cause it to grow more defined.

For this, George recommends the cable woodchop because it engages the obliques and is a functional movement; the seated medicine ball trunk rotation, which also targets the obliques and—bonus—can be done anywhere, no machines required; and, finally, the kettlebell windmill, which engages the entire trunk. In the case of the latter, remember to start with a wide straddle stance and aim to touch your toes with your free hand while keeping that kettlebell up to the sky the entire time.

Repeat these three exercises 12 to 15 times, then start the circuit over. Perform three rounds two to three times a week, taking care to rest your core in between to up your chances of carving out your V-cut.

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