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health talk:
Top Tips: Killer Abs

By: Jon Robinson

If you’re feeling nostalgic, don your spandex and headband, dust off your old Olivia Newton John LP, get physical and do some sit-ups. However, if you really want to hear your body talk (sorry), ditch those legwarmers and do some real work.

Sit ups do not activate the abs effectively, but instead rely heavily on the hip flexors, with legs, neck and abs playing a secondary role. 

Abs are designed for short sharp bursts of large forces, both to stabilise the body and to transmit forces. So it makes sense to train them this way, especially as we have known for a long time that high reps at a low weight has minimal effect on tone, strength or fat loss. 

Leg Raise

Slowly curve pelvis as high as possible without letting the body sway.

Squeeze and hold for up to 15 seconds (treadmill handrails can be used as a substitute for dip bars).

Barbell Twist

Keep your body rigid and arms straight throughout. Pivot on your toes.

Twist your torso, not your arms. Hold for 15 seconds.

For both of these exercises, do four reps for six to nine sets either once or twice a week but never more than that. To find out the ultimate advanced abs exercise, visit


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