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Ab Tri Set Workout 1

This ab tri set will help take your ab development to the next level. Ab tri sets are considered “mini circuit sets” and are a great Segway to full circuits. I personally love to perform tri sets and will perform them as an addition to my main circuits. This tri set involves 3 ab movements:

1) Ankle grabs
2) Dead bugs
3) Ab Crunch

These three movements are relatively easy to perform and will allow you to complete each exercise without too much difficulty. However, it is still a challenging combination so be prepared to work! Remember, there is no rest in between exercises. This is a tri set so you move from one exercise to the next in a consecutive manner. If you’ve never performed a tri-set before, please see my page called “what is a tri set”.

I do recommend you start with superset before attempting a tri set or circuit set. You can find out more about supersets at my page called “what is a superset”.

This is an intermediate / advanced method so if you’re brand new to exercise, I suggest starting with some basic ab movements for the first few weeks first.  

Tri Set Exercise #1 - Ankle Grabs

Position for the ankle grab exercise

First up in our tri set are ankle grabs. Lie a yoga mat down on the floor (or a towel) to provide some cushion for your back. Lie on your back with your feet bent at about 70 degrees. Retract your shoulders so that the backs of your shoulders are flush to the floor. This will cause you to puff your chest out proud and maintain the proper shoulder position for the exercise. Keep your feet flat on the floor and hands to your sides. Keep your head level and eyes looking straight up at the ceiling.

Execution of the ankle grab exercise

Using your abdominal muscles, lift your shoulders off the floor by an inch or two and using your right hand, reach and touch your right ankle. Once you’ve touched your right ankle, allow your body to return to the start position and using your left hand, reach and touch your left ankle. Don’t look down at your knees, keep your eyes looking straight up at the ceiling.

Once you’ve completed the prescribed repetitions for the ankle grab exercise, immediately move onto the dead bug exercise.

Tri Set Exercise #2 - Dead Bugs

Dead Bug Position

Raise your arms until they are fully extended in front of your chest (at a 90 degree angle).Move your legs up towards your chest and bend at the knees (roughly a 90 degree angle). Your posture should resemble a “dead bug”.

Execution of the dead bug exercise

Slowly straighten your right leg until it is fully extended. Your right foot should be about 2 to 3 inches off the floor (don’t allow it to touch the floor). Once your right leg is fully extended, pause for a moment and bring your leg back to the start position. Repeat this process for your left leg.

Repeat until your repetitions are complete. Once the dead bug exercise is complete, move onto the last exercise in the tri set called “ab crunches”

Tri Set Exercise #3 - Ab Crunch

Position for the ab crunch exercise

Keep your knees bent and make sure to retract your shoulders so that the backs of your shoulders are flush with the flor. Cross your arms in front of you and look up at the ceiling. Keep your feet flat on the floor.

Execution of the ab crunch exercise

Using your abdominal muscles, “crunch” your upper body towards your knees. Raise your shoulders a few inches off the ground, pause for a moment and return to the starting position.  

Perform for the prescribed amount of repetitions.


Ankle grabs: Breathe in as you reach with your left arm and breathe out as you reach with your right arm
Dead bugs: Breathe in as you extend with your left leg and breathe out as you bring your left leg back in. Repeat with your right leg.
Ab crunches: Breath in as you crunch towards your knees and breath out as you return to the starting position.

Important points

·         If you feel any cramping in your abdominal muscles, stop the exercise and use this ab stretch. Call it a day and try again in a few days.

·         When performing the dead bug, make sure you keep your legs off of the floor. When extending your feet, try and keep your feet at least a few inches off the floor. Your feet should never touch the floor.

·         When performing the ankle grab, keep your shoulders off of the floor a few inches and don’t allow them to touch the floor for the duration of the exercise.

·         It’s important that you keep your eyes looking up at the ceiling for the duration of all of the exercises. Don’t be tempted to look down as this will cause you to lose posture. Pick a spot on the ceiling and stare at if for the duration of the tri set.

Video for the ab tri set workout

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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