Dwayne Johnson's Ab Workouts (Unlock His Rock-Hard Six-Pack)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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The Rock is one of the strongest and most ripped Hollywood actors who indulges in special workout regimes to achieve an incredible physique.

He performs regular lifting sessions, cardio training, and ab workouts daily to get that six-pack he showcases in his movies.

I undertook more than 17 hours of research to compile the ultimate The Rock ab workout, which will get you to a physique like his.

I ensured all exercises were safe to perform and would induce maximal muscle-building results.

Read below to learn the entire ab workout routine, his workout principle, diet plan, and supplementation.

Celebrity Stats/Career Highlights

  • Age: 51
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 262 lbs
  • Waist: 35 inches
  • Chest: 50 inches

Ab Workout Routine

The ab workout we will showcase was used to prepare The Rock for the movie Hercules.

However, Dwayne Johnson uses the same ab workout for a year and only changes slightly to adapt to a new movie role.

Having tried The Rock's ab workout myself, I can vouch for its effectiveness. I've found that making slight adjustments to this workout throughout the year keeps it fresh and challenging.


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Here is the entire ab workout plan used to target every single abdominal muscle group:

1. Hanging Leg Raise: One of the best abdominal exercises that follow the trunk flexion movement pattern. It effectively targets your rectus abdominis, the biggest abdominal muscle, also called the six-pack ab muscle. The Rock performs hanging leg raises between the sets of his regular pushing and pulling exercises for 4 sets of 20 reps in total.

2. Rope Crunch: Another core exercise that easily isolates the rectus abdominis, the biggest abdominal muscle. However, internal and external obliques will also help the movement by acting as synergists to the rectus abdominis. Dwayne Johnson performed the same amount of 4 sets for 20 reps for this exercise.

3. Russian Twist: The only exercises on the list that will target obliques more than the rectus abdominis. Russian twists follow the rotational or trunk twist movement pattern that effectively targets your external and internal obliques. Dwayne Johnson performed 4 sets of 20 reps of Russian twists, sometimes at the end but most often between the sets of regular lifting exercises.

Other Celebrity Ab Workouts: Jay Cutler's Ab Workout

Workout Principles

The Rock prepping for his ab workouts inside his own gym

According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, intensity is the main principle behind ab workouts [1].

Another study in the National Library of Medicine says that lower rest periods between the sets combined with high rep ranges are great for inducing local endurance and hypertrophy of abdominal muscles [2].

Dwayne, The Rock Johnson, performed the sets of 20 reps with as little rest in between as possible.

However, he also did regular workout sessions to support his ab workouts.

Some of the exercises he performed included the following:

  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Leg Press
  • Pull-ups
  • Cable Machine Rows
  • Cable Machine Lateral Raises
  • Barbell Curls
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise

As you might notice, almost all exercises are compound, making them efficient for activating large muscle groups and inducing hypertrophy effects.

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Focus on Mind-Muscle Connection

This technique involves mentally focusing on the muscles being engaged during exercise, enhancing the quality of each movement and the overall effectiveness of the workout.

Here's how the Rock develops a strong mind-muscle connection:

  • Start with visualization: Before the Rock begins the exercise, he takes a moment to visualize the muscles he will be working. He imagines them contracting and relaxing with each movement. This mental imagery sets the stage for a more engaged workout.
  • Slow down the reps: He performs each repetition slowly and with control. Rushing through the sets can lead to using momentum rather than muscle strength, reducing the effectiveness of the workout.
  • Focus on the feeling: The Rock pays close attention to how his muscles feel during each exercise. You should feel a deep contraction in your abs, especially during movements like crunches or leg raises. If you don’t feel it, adjust your form.
  • Breathing techniques: Proper breathing can enhance your mind-muscle connection. Exhale as you contract your muscles and inhale during the release.

Diet Plan

Dwayne Johnson's High protein diet

The Rock undertook a strict diet for 22 days to make his abs visible.

Here is the most important macronutrient information:

  • Protein: 547 grams
  • Carbs: 469 grams
  • Fat: 99 grams
  • Total: 4,940 calories

The diet includes an optimal protein intake for muscle growth. It is meant to support anabolic metabolism and reduce the chance of muscle atrophy.

One of my clients wanted to eat like the Rock, so he embarked on a similar 22-day diet challenge. He consumed 4,940 calories, which not only helped in defining his abs but also taught him a lot about disciplined eating.

Diet / Nutrition Principles

The main principles behind the Rock Ab Workout diet and nutrition are high proteins, moderate carbs, and low fats.

All proteins were acquired from lean protein sources such as beef, chicken, and egg whites.

You cannot build muscles without protein since it contains amino acids, which are responsible for building muscle mass and repairing body tissues.

Wondering if rice is a good pre-workout meal?

The main carbohydrate food used during the filming of Hercules was white rice, which The Rock ate almost 4-5 times a day.

“A meal plan is the best way to take results to the next level, setting the stage for true transformation. With consistency, you will learn what foods & macros work best for your body to help you accomplish your goals."
- Dave Rienzi, Strength & Conditioning Coach for Dwayne Johnson


Different workout supplements close up

The Rock used multiple supplements to support his ab workout routine.

Here are the most important supplements he used:

  • Whey Protein
  • Casein
  • Creatine
  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids
  • (BCAAs)
  • Glutamine
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin

The Rock is not on steroids. He combined proper diet and exercise and took the right supplements to build a hard, solid core.

You should supplement with whey protein to get The Rock's abs.

I wanted to try the same supplements the Rock uses, and I went with Whey Protein, Casein, Creatine, and BCAAs. These supplements, especially when combined with a rigorous workout, played a crucial role in enhancing my core strength and muscle recovery.

To get the most out of your protein purchase, read our detailed guide on the 7 best whey protein powders of 2023 and choose the one that suits your needs the best.

Read More: Dwayne Johnson's Supplements You Can Replicate

Among the supplements on the list, the most important are whey protein and creatine since they have the biggest effect on muscle-building results.


What Is The Rock's Core Workout?

The Rock’s core workout consists of only three exercises. Those are hanging leg raises, rope crunches, and Russian twists.

How Do You Get The Rock's Abs?

To get The Rock's abs, you must combine a proper ab workout regime with diet and supplementation. Core strength and hypertrophy are only achieved through proper intake of carbs and proteins and intense workout sessions.

How Long Does Dwayne Johnson Workout a Day?

Dwayne Johnson workouts only once per day. However, he does it early in the morning and combines strength and cardio sessions.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7345922/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562558/
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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