Best abs exercises to get a toned, flat stomach: this top PT reveals all

Obtain a killer washboard stomach via the best tech and the best abs workout, courtesy of Jermaine Johnson, head PT at London's finest: BLOK

Ultimate workout for ripped abs

So many human beings have tried – and failed – to achieve the sort of stomach that would outshine Peter Andre's in his Mysterious Girl heyday. How to get a six pack fast is one of the most searched things on Google, and we're here to supply some answers. Although only to the question 'how to get a six pack'. Getting one 'fast' is only possible if you think of 'fast' as meaning over weeks and months, not hours and days.

The sad truth is, today's social media-obsessed society has been duped into thinking that every young, beautiful creature has a belly that's seemingly made of steel. But those rippling abs take a lot of hard work, both in the kitchen and in the gym. 

Don't forget to check out some of our other workout guides from top PTs, to achieve a well-rounded, muscular and functionally fit bod to be proud of.

Get a six-pack… or just a flatter stomach?

The reason we mention the kitchen is this: your body fat percentage will need to dip below 10 per cent before a six-pack even begins to show. That's why we'd recommend most people content themselves with healthy dieting and regular, fun workouts to obtain flatter abs rather than going all-out for a six pack.

We'd never advise to work solely on your stomach in search of 'popping' abs, as this would be a waste of time, so weaving this workout into a more rounded fitness regime will not only reap dividends in the gut department, it will also make you a generally fitter, healthier and happier person.

"To gain abs of steel requires a lot of work," warns Jermaine Johnson, head personal trainer at trendy London gym chain BLOK.

"You need to target and work your abs in a variety of ways but you should also aim to build your internal core strength, as well as the external muscles for maximum results," he says.

Follow the workout below and heed the following advice on nutrition to begin the journey towards a ridiculously cut stomach. 

External links: Follow Jermaine Johnson on Instagram, Twitter and via the BLOK London website to receive regular workout tips, nutritional advice and updates from the man himself…

A word on nutrition

Protein helps repair muscle and is essential for toning up

Abs are, perhaps more than any other muscle group, at the mercy of a strict nutritional plan and achieving visible results will inevitably mean cutting out lots of the fun stuff in a regular diet.

"We all have abs but it is our body fat that hides them away," explains Jermaine.

"To reduce body fat, you'll need to eat plenty of protein, reduce the number of carbs in the diet - but don't eliminate them, as you need fuel for workouts - and introduce healthy fats, lots of fibre and vegetables rich in the nutrients needed to promote muscle growth.

"Most importantly, you will also need to keep away from sugar, so reducing or completely cutting out sweets, processed foods and alcohol will definitely help lose the belly fat and reveal your abs," he adds.

There are plenty of good resources online that can assist in mapping out a good low fat diet, while offering some recipes to help in the kitchen.

We've also got a great selection of top supplements, protein powders and training snacks that make it a little easier to get more of the right stuff inside your body.

How to perform to the killer abs workout

"The workout below is focussed on the external core by performing a variety of different crunches targeting the upper, middle and lower abs as well as the obliques," Jermaine explains.

"We will also work the internal core (the deeper ab muscles), so you will perform a variety of different planks to fire up those deeper muscles that lay the groundwork for a solid six-pack," he adds.

Jermaine suggests performing each exercise back-to-back without rest, but if that feels too much have a 30 second breather between each one before moving on to the next.

Complete all of the exercises in the list and that is considered one set. Rest for 45 seconds between sets and perform four sets in total before congratulating yourself on a job well done.

Don't forget to drink plenty of water while exercising and ease your body into this routine with a 10-minute cardio warm up, whether that's on the treadmill, static bike or with a round of jumping jacks, high-knees or jogging on the spot. 

Jermaine Johnson shows you how it's done

The killer abs workout

Get ripped quick

1. Ab Crunch

30 seconds

This exercise targets the rectus abdominis muscles in a controlled manner, flexing and releasing the core muscles in order to give them a thorough workout. 

Lay flat on your back, and then rise up to meet your pelvis using the shoulders and the core to maintain and propel you forward. Use the hands to support your neck.

Repeat at a comfortable pace for 30 seconds. 

A solid crunch is key to visible abs

2. Bicycle Crunch 

30 seconds

This move also works the rectus abdominis, as well as the upper abs and obliques, giving a nice rounded workout in one fairly simple manoeuvre.

Lay flat, rise into a crunch and ensure the back of your shoulders are off the floor, rotate to the right and try to meet the left knee with the right elbow while you extend the right leg straight out and then do the same for the opposing side. 

When performed correctly, this exercise should look like you're pedalling an invisible bicycle (hence the name), while simultaneously connecting opposing elbows and knees with a slight twist of the trunk.  

Perform a bicycle crunch any time, anywhere

3. Reverse Crunch

30 seconds

Now we move on to the lower abs. Lie flat on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle to the floor.

Then, using just your core, pull your legs and hips towards the ceiling, while bringing your knees towards your chest and repeat. Ensure you feel your bum leave the floor, while pulling legs and hips up towards the ceiling. 

Use machinery in the gym for assistance 

The plank is a killer but gets a bunch of muscle groups firing

4. Plank

60 seconds

It's a tough cookie, but the plank targets so many muscle groups and is an absolute must for sculpting a well-defined stomach.

Lay facedown with legs extended and elbows bent and directly under shoulders. Clasp your hands together. 

Your feet should be hip-width apart and elbows should be shoulder-width apart. 

Squeezing your abs, lift your body weight onto your toes with forearms still on the floor; keep a nice straight line from top of the head to lower spine. 

Building big forearms completes the look

5. High Plank or Straight Arm Plank

60 seconds

This is essentially the same exercise as above but the bodyweight should be placed on the hands, rather than forearms.

Jumping directly into this from the previous plank will keep the core activated and essentially works those muscles twice as hard. It will be tough, but the abs will be pumping after this.

6. Plank Jacks

60 seconds

Still focussing on the plank, this variation is a killer way to end the workout and really makes the core muscles pump.

Maintain either a High Plank or regular forearm-based plank, but add a jumping jack movement with the legs, while maintaining strong posture and alignment of your spine. 

This is sure to get the pulse racing and have that stomach feeling nice and tight afterwards. All you need to do now is have a short rest and repeat the entire session. 

It's going to hurt, but nobody says it was going to be easy.

Want workouts for the rest of you?

Don't worry, T3 will boast a catalogue of workouts that target the rest of your body with a series of features on ways to get fitter using tech (and just a teensy bit of sweat and effort).

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.