Are you trying to build lean ab muscles? Are you wanting to get that washboard abs look? Did you know you may even be performing basic ab exercises incorrectly? Get the winning strategy from BPI Sports’ James Grage. Discover how to do ab exercises the right way!

If you’re doing endless crunches and hanging leg raises wrong, that may be exactly why you’re not reaching your 6-pack goal. According to BPI co-founder James Grage, all the crunches in the world won’t give you results if you don’t have proper form.

The first video below will take you through the dos and don’ts of ab training to get you maximum benefits. Then, in the second video, James Grage will take you through a 10-minute at-home workout to put these tips to the test. Despite everything that you might have heard before, you don’t have to do a thousand reps a day to get awesome abs (or more specifically, the rectus abdominus muscle). If you’re looking for a hassle-free, quick, and effective ab routine to lose belly fat and get a lean 6-pack, this 10-minute ab workout is for you.

Since awesome 6-pack abs are the end-goal here, you may want to try and supplement your ab exercises with BPI Sports’ ISO-HD™ protein powder for even better results. It’s the purest, low-calorie protein formula delivering 25g of 100% whey isolates and hydrolysates. It’s high in calcium and low in sodium, and quickly absorbed to support your post recovery workout. It’s a nice complement to all that hard work and a must-have for sculpting your body!

Crunches: High reps don’t build your abs or burn belly fat, resistance does.

3 sets of 15 reps

First, a little about the functioning of your abs: Your 6-pack is made up of a group of muscles called the rectus abdominis. It enables the curvature of your lower spine and the tilting of your pelvis. This muscle group attaches at the bottom of the ribs (Point A) and at the top of the pubic bone (Point B). When a muscle contracts it shortens the distance between the two connecting points.

So why is that important? Well, a crunch done wrong means there’s isn’t much of a change in distance between Point A and B. So if your back is flat throughout the range of motion, you’re not fully contracting the muscle. Imagine doing a biceps curl just half way!

To properly do a crunch, think about bringing your head toward your knees instead of the ceiling. Remember not to pull on your head or neck. Simply get a nice curvature on that lower spine, bringing Point A and B closer together. In other words, the bottom of your ribs and the top of your pubic bone. You’ll feel a greater contraction throughout your entire abdominal region. Once you’ve mastered your technique, you can add resistance to build your abs.

Hanging Leg Raises: It’s all about shortening the distance between Point A and Point B

3 sets of 15 reps

Just like with crunches, to do hanging leg raises effectively, you have to shorten the distance between Point A and Point B which is your hip flexors (attached to your femur) and the lower part of your spine, respectively. If this exercise isn’t done right, all you’d be doing is getting tight hip flexors pulling on your spine and hurting your back.

When hanging leg raises are done correctly, your pelvis should be tilted up to get that nice curvature you should always be looking for when doing ab exercises. Start with slow and controlled movement and simply do a reverse crunch. Bring your knees toward your head not the ceiling. Don’t forget to squeeze at the top! That’s the most important part!

Remember, if your ab exercise doesn’t shorten the distance between Point A and B, then you’re not doing it right!

Reverse Crunch Ab Workout

3 sets of 15 reps

No equipment needed here! Just great form. James Grage shows you the right way and the wrong way to do a reverse crunch, so you can ensure you have proper form and are maximizing your 10-mn at home ab workout.

The wrong way: So if your back is completely flat, know that you’re doing it wrong because you’re getting very little ab contraction. James Grage advises you get good curvature in the spine. Also, if you’re allowing your legs to swing up plus using the gravity and the weight of your legs to pull over, it’s still incorrect.

And now for the right way: Thighs have to be perpendicular to the floor, and a 90-degree bend in the legs. To get maximum ab contraction, bring your head off the floor while making sure you’re not pulling on the back of your head or neck. Then slowly and in a controlled movement, lift your pelvis off the floor in a reverse crunch motion. bring your knees closer to your head versus up toward the ceiling. Slowly get back to the starting position. The angle of the knee never changes. All the motion is in tilting your pelvis and getting the curvature in the spine. Don’t forget to squeeze at the top. Repeat for three sets, but not back to back.

Plank Tuck

3 sets of 15 reps

The plank is an effective core stability exercise but isn’t a good abdominal isolation exercise, since there’s no curvature in the low spine or tilt in the pelvis, so you’re not fully contracting the muscle. So James Grage suggests you take a small towel and place your feet on the towel, in a push-up position.

Make sure you’re on a smooth floor so you can slide back and forth. Abs tight, back straight, you’re your pelvis and pull your feet up by contracting your abs. Simply move forward and back. If you’re doing it right, the lower part of your ribs should be getting closer to your pelvis so you can get a nice, full contraction. For 3 sets of 15 reps, but not back to back.

Crunches

3 sets of 15 reps

To take full advantage of your crunches, you have to do them right! If you’re doing the standard crunches with your head going straight up toward the ceiling, your back stays flat and that’s not a good thing. James Grage recommends always getting a fuller range of motion and that curvature mentioned in previous exercises. Start slow, while not pulling on your head or neck. Go as high as you can, right before your low back comes off the ground (which poses stress on your lower back).

Rest 1 minute in between each round, and go for two more rounds of these three at home ab workouts. 10 minutes, twice a week is all you need to take great advantage of these ab workouts. Remember for even better results, try the ultra pure, ultra delicious ISO-HD™ protein powder.