8 Exercises for Abs for Men Over 40

8 Exercises for Abs for Men Over 40

As a man over 40 you might have been led to believe that a lot of abs exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, incline sit-ups and planks will get you a flat stomach or even abs.

Although these exercises do have their place, it’s NOT what you should be focused upon to burn fat from your waist.

Why Body Fat Percentage is Important

You’ll never see your abs if your body fat percentage is above 12%. At 12% your top abs lines will start showing through, but to truly reveal a full 6 pack you need to be under 10% body fat.

When losing fat and getting abs you should think of your body as a unit, focusing on every muscle group that ultimately leads to a permanently elevated metabolism.

You do that by using exercises that train ALL your muscles, not just the abs. When you have abs, the rest of your body will be in shape too. You’ll have a defined chest, broad shoulders, V-taper back and narrow waist.

It’s very difficult to have abs without your whole body looking and feeling healthy, which is why it happens as a result of ALL your training NOT just focusing on a specific exercise or body part.

Compound Movements

The best exercises for burning fat and revealing your abs for men over 40 are compound multi-joint movements.

Compound movements use multiple muscle groups in one movement, they build the most muscle, burn fat and deliver the best bang for your buck.

Not only that but because they demand so much more from the body, they burn more calories and boost testosterone.

Testosterone is a hormone that’s responsible for all kinds of chemical processes in the body and one of those processes is the burning of fat.

Keeping testosterone at peak production using compound exercises and nutrition will help burn more fat from your stomach.

Quite frankly for men over 40 there really aren’t any better exercises than compound movements for sculpting a lean and chiselled body, losing fat and looking awesome.

Not only that but compound movements are joint friendly and if you use a proper progression system, they allow you to make steady progress each week, month and year.

The great thing about using compound movements to get abs and sculpt a lean and chiselled body is you don’t need a lot of exercises to get the job done.

Just picking a handful of 5 exercises and training 2 or 3 times per week is the best option especially if you’re a man over 40. Here are some of the best exercises for sculpting a lean body and getting abs:

Conventional Barbell Deadlifts

The Conventional Barbell Deadlift is a fantastic exercise that works so many muscles of the body including the hamstrings, back and shoulders in one movement.

Because it’s such a demanding exercise it builds lean muscle, burns a ton of calories and permanently elevates your metabolism.

If you suffer from back problems don’t use an exaggerated range of motion i.e. overstretch or better still use the trap bar version of the exercise instead.

Barbell Squat

Another fantastic fat burning and lean muscle building exercise for men over 40. The Barbell Squat will not only sculpt the muscles of the legs but burns calories and boosts testosterone in one movement.

Barbell Bench Presses

The Barbell Bench Press trains the muscles of the chest, shoulders and triceps in one movement.

I prefer to use the incline version of the exercise as it’s safer on the shoulders and puts more emphasis on the upper chest, providing a powerful masculine appearance.

Pull-downs / Pull-ups

Having a strong and powerful back looks awesome. When you have a narrow waist, you’ll have that classic V-taper look.

This exercise trains the entire back and biceps in one complete movement. The Pull-Up is the best exercise you can do to train your back hard. If you focus on this ONE exercise exclusively, you’ll learn that lots of machines and rows are simply not needed.

If you can’t do a body weight pull-up don’t worry its very common. I recommend sticking with the machine pull-down for a while and once you lose enough fat move to the assisted pull-up machine.

Once you’re able to do a pull-up unassisted, move onto body weight pull-ups and finally weighted pull-ups.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Do you want broad shoulders without doing a lot of exercises AND keeping your back supported?

The Dumbbell Shoulder Press is a great exercise!

This exercise will build lean, powerful looking shoulders in one movement, burn more fat and sculpt a leaner mid-section.

Simply focus on getting stronger with this exercise in combination with the other exercises mentioned and you’re going to build very decent and strong looking shoulders.

Assisted Exercises

As well as the compound movements I also recommend using some assisted exercises to sculpt a truly awesome physique.

Some of those exercises include the following:

Barbell Curl

The Barbell Curl will assist in building great looking arms, burn fat and allow you to progress using very small increments.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

By using Dumbbell Lateral Raises you can target the outer head of the shoulders giving them that rounded, pleasing look.

The Lateral Raise trains the medial head of the shoulders that the pressing movements neglect.

Close Grip Bench Press

The Close Grip Bench Press is an excellent exercise for targeting the triceps and inner chest muscles. It helps as an assisted exercise to the Bench Press.

Direct Abs Exercises

I will include some exercises that work the core muscles directly, but again it’s NOT where your focus needs to be if you’re trying to sculpt a lean and chiselled midsection.

The following exercises will help train the core directly, strengthen the abs and help you burn more fat in conjunction with the other exercises.


The crunch will target the upper portion of abs and keep the lower back out of the equation. Make sure you keep your chin tucked under and perform perfect exercise form.

Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch will target the lower portion of the abs and can be done without any additional weight, just body weight.

Side Bend

The side bend will target the muscles of the obliques, by simply standing with a dumbbell in each hand you can really target these muscles and give your mid-section a complete look.

Key Takeaways

The key takeaways from this article should be losing fat and getting abs is all about getting your body working as a UNIT.

It’s NOT about performing one or two direct exercises for the abs and hoping to burn more fat.

Compound, multi-joint exercises and nutrition are what you should be focusing upon.

Getting your strength training workouts right each week and not strength training more than 3 times per week.

Once you have those TWO things in place, then you can add in a few steady state cardio sessions to perhaps speed up the fat loss process.

But I never recommend performing cardio sessions and neglecting your strength training workouts.

Get your priorities correct first.

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