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The #1 Core Workout To Get "11 Line" Abs

Build the perfect midsection with this no-nonsense routine!
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

"11 Line" abs are the pinnacle of a lean, strong, and fit body. It refers to those head-turning vertical lines that run down your midsection when you have serious core definition, which creates the illusion of the number "11." (Thus, the name.) But what's the best way to get that look in your torso? We're here to help you out with the ultimate core workout for 11 line abs.

First and foremost, you have to strip enough body fat to reveal the ab muscles underneath—that's non-negotiable. But even if you become "lean enough," you still need specific training to create the "11." That's because the vertical lines are actually the gap between your rectus abdominis (your six-pack muscles) and your internal and external obliques (the muscles toward the side of your torso).

Most people, unfortunately, only target their six-pack muscles with hundreds of crunches but neglect the other muscles. Instead, you need to target your core from all directions so you get the complete look.

Read on for the best core workout for 11 line abs. We recommend doing this at the end of your regular strength workout, two times a week for the best results. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're done, don't miss out on the 6 Best Daily Exercises for Women Over 50 to Sculpt a Lean Waistline.

A1) Dead Bugs, Sets: 3, Reps: 6 each side, Rest: 0 seconds

dead bug

Dead bugs are a simple and effective way to blast your entire core. Then, when you extend your arm and your leg, exhale as hard as you can and hold that position for a second or two before you inhale. (Obliques help with exhalation so you get added work by doing this.)

Lie on your back with your arms and your knees in the air (like a dead bug), press your lower back into the ground, and lift your glutes. Reach out with your right leg and left leg at the same time while keeping your lower back flat on the ground, keeping your hips off the ground, and exhaling all of your air. Switch sides and repeat.

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A2) Kneeling Kettlebell Halos, Sets: 3, Reps: 6 each direction, Rest: 30 seconds

Few core exercises train your midsection from all angles like the halo. That's because you're training your stability as you move a weight through many different positions instead of a repetitive move like a sit-up.

Get on both knees and hold one kettlebell handle in both hands with the large part over your hands. Keep your lower back neutral, and make big circles around your head with the kettlebell. Do all your reps one way, and then switch directions.

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B1) Ab Wheel Rollout, Sets: 3, Reps: 10, Rest: 30 seconds

fit woman doing ab wheel rollouts, concept of workout to get rid of body fat

Goodbye, planks—hello, ab wheel rollouts! These are amazing because, as you lower yourself, you change the lever angle to skyrocket the effort on your core. This exercise also trains you to keep your lower back in a good, neutral position throughout.

While on both knees, grab an ab wheel, and push forward. Descend as low as you can, then pull yourself back up. Make sure to keep your arms straight and your hips extended the entire time. If an ab wheel is too difficult, put your hands on a small stability ball and use that instead.

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B1) Anti-Rotational Cable Chop, Sets: 3, Reps: 8 each direction, Rest: 30 seconds

The best way to target the sides of your abs isn't to twist; it's to resist twisting. That way, you keep your spine and your hips in a safe position while building strength and stability. Then, by angling the force in a diagonal way, it better targets the obliques and your crossbody stability.

Get on both knees or one knee and set a cable bar or rope attachment above your head. While facing perpendicular to the cable, grab the bar or rope at both ends. Diagonally drag the bar or rope downward across your body. Lock out the arm farthest away and push forward with the arm closest to the machine. Keep your torso straight. Finish your reps on one side and switch sides.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony
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