The Best Ab Exercises, Period.

Getting a six pack is simple, more or less.

All you really need to do is hold a few planks per week and diet until you’ve lost the belly fat, and voila, abs.

Building a strong core is a whole other ball game.

When you’re lean, a strong core looks strong and powerful. It’s not your average six pack.

On top of this, you feel great when you have a strong core. Back pain seems to be a thing of the past, and all other lifts feel easier.

The problem is that a lot of people try stupid or over-advanced core exercises that they see online. They perform them poorly, and then they don’t get the results they hoped for, or worse, they get injured.

The key to building a strong core is starting with the basics, and moving up, level by level, in a structured manner.

To quote Drake, “We started from the bottom now we’re here”.

In order to do this, you need to start at Level 1 exercises. Once you’ve mastered those, move up to Level 2, and so on.

Level 1

Day 1

Front Plank — 2 sets of 60-second holds, resting 60 seconds in between
Forward Crawl — 2 sets of 30 meters crawl, resting 60 seconds in between sets.

Day 2

Side Plank — 2 sets of 30-second holds (each side), resting 60 seconds in between sets
Farmer’s Carry — 2 sets of 30 meters walks (with as heavy weight as possible), resting 60 seconds in between sets.

Level 2

Day 1

Plank With 1-Leg Elevated — 2 sets of 60-second holds, resting 60 seconds in between
Backward Crawl — 2 sets of 30 meters crawl, resting 60 seconds in between sets.

Day 2

Side Plank and Row — 2 sets of 8–12 reps on each side, resting 60 seconds in between sets
Farmer’s Carry — 2 sets of 30 meters walks (with as heavy weight as possible), resting 60 seconds in between sets.

Level 3

Day 1

Feet Elevated Plank — 2 sets of 60-second holds, resting 60 seconds in between
Swiss Ball Mountain Climbers — 2 sets of 30-second climbers, resting 60 seconds in between sets.

Day 2

Feet Elevated Side Plank — 2 sets of 30-second holds (each side), resting 60 seconds in between sets
Forward/Backward Crawl (Crawl forwards halfway, then come back, going backward) — 2 sets of 30 meters crawl, resting 60 seconds in between sets.

Level 4

Day 1

Plank With Feet on Swiss Ball — 2 sets of 60-second holds, resting 60 seconds in between
Half Kneeling Cable Chop — 2 sets of 8–12 on each side, resting 60 seconds between sets

Day 2

Side Plank With Feet on Swiss Ball — 2 sets of 30-second holds (each side), resting 60 seconds in between sets
Horizontal Cable Chop — 2 sets of 8–12 on each side, resting 60 seconds between sets

I recommend starting at Level 1 and staying there for 4–6 weeks, then moving on to Level 2, and so on. If you take the maximum of 6 weeks per level, then that’s about 24 weeks of core workouts for you to master. After the 24 weeks, your core will be strong as hell, and you’ll literally have abs of steel.

If you’re looking for a full-body customized training program that will incorporate these exercises, then I highly recommend applying to online coaching here: http://www.jmaxfitness.com/coaching-application-page/