For most guys, starting from the bottom and working upward is a great strategy when training abs, because your lower abs tend to be more stubborn than the upper portion in terms of strength and definition. The idea, then, is to develop a routine that works every muscle group in your abs in tandem in order to provide the balance you need.

The collection of movements below accomplishes this quite nicely, starting with two movements that target your lower abs, followed by some oblique work, and a core-stabilization finisher. And since it’s impossible to train one portion of the rectus abdominis—your six-pack muscles—apart from another, your upper abs will get plenty of work, too, in this routine.

HANGING LEG RAISE

Initiate each rep slowly to de-emphasize the hip flexors and keep tension on the abs. At the top, crunch your pelvis upward and hold for a second.

LAND MINE

Place one end of a barbell in a corner, with weight on the other end. Holding the weighted end, wave the barbell from side to side in an inverted U-shape.

WEIGHTED CRUNCH

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, holding a plate over your face. Bend at the waist and crunch up, hold for a second, then lower your torso until your shoulder blades touch the floor.

SWISS BALL PLANK

Rest your elbows on a Swiss ball and get into plank position. Focus on keeping your entire body in a straight line from head to toe.