Beach Body Workouts for Men: Abs

You see a set of chiseled abs on the latest cover of your favorite fitness magazine. How do you replicate that look?

Before attempting to sculpt your stomach, it's important to understand what your abs are. Your abdominal muscles (specifically rectus abdominis, internal obliques and external obliques) are part of the network called the core, which is everything that doesn't include your arms, legs and head.

Compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups and rows strengthen the abs, and subsequently, the core. These exercises also help burn calories, which helps burn body fat, which eventually helps you be confident enough to take your shirt off in public.

The main job of your core is to provide stability to the trunk or to resist movement. Telling someone to spend an entire workout performing hundreds of crunches and other ab workouts neglects what the core is designed to do, and leads to a higher risk of back injuries.

For these reasons, it is rarely—if ever—beneficial to train just your abs in one workout session. Instead, try doing a series of ab exercises at the end of your regular routine.

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