1\ Add some weight
Either hold a 10kg disc or dumbbell above your head when doing crunches, or attach a leg weight to your ankles during leg raises to really work your abs – they are some of the strongest muscles and can take more than just your body weight.
PHIL LEARNEY, STRENGTH TRAINER
2\ Save the best until last
Leave all core-specific workouts until the end of your session. Working abs first will tire them out, meaning you won’t get the same benefits from moves such as squats and deadlifts.
CARL ELLIS, PERSONAL TRAINER
3\ Engage your core
Scientists have proved that if you concentrate on tensing, your abs while doing your squats, you can increase the activity in your deeper core muscles by a staggering 167 per cent.
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
4\ Pull yourself together
Do 10-12 reps of the cable push-pull. With your left foot forward and left arm extended, pull from the front and push from the rear as though you’re punching the air. The cable machine gets your core’s hidden muscles active.
NICK GRANTHAM, PERSONAL TRAINER
5\ Do the big three
There are three types of movement that engage your abs: flexion and extensions, (like sit-ups), rotations (medicine ball twists) and static contractions (the plank). To build your six-pack you need to do them all.
JAMES KING, PERSONAL TRAINER
6\ Hold it right there
If time is short, do the plank rather than crunches. It’s one of the most effective stomach exercises and 30-60 seconds on your front and sides is enough to make a difference.
SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY, BIOMECHANICS LAB