Build Your Six Pack

Getting a set of lean, sexy abs is the number one goal for millions of gym goers, yet so few achieve it. To get a strong, great looking 6-pack doesn’t happen by accident; it requires many things to work in synergy. A clean diet, an effective cardio program and regular abdominal workouts are essential. This article will focus on the latter, and provide you with a hard-hitting abs routine you can do next time you go to the gym.

While a proper diet and cardio will decrease body fat to make your abs visible, it’s direct abdominal training that will develop the 6-pack muscles and give definition and shape to your abs. This routine will target the upper, lower and side portions of your abs giving you a complete workout.

The most important aspect of abdominal training is to constantly switch up your workouts to keep the routine fresh and ensure continued results. You can do this by adding new exercises, using different rep ranges and making sure the abs get trained from a variety of angles. If you get stuck in a routine where you perform the same ab workouts repeatedly, your body will adapt and progress will come to a halt. This routine will help shake things up, and expedite your progress.

For best results, I recommend training your abs directly, three times per week for about 20-30 minutes each session. If you work your abs any more than three times per week, you risk overtraining; any less, and you may not be targeting them enough. Make sure the three ab workouts are spaced out evenly throughout the week with at least one rest day between them. Add this routine to your current workout program and start seeing serious results.

Medicine Ball Slam
Raise a medicine ball over your head and slightly lean your body back. Then, using your core and serratus muscles, forcefully slam the ball onto the floor about 2 feet in front of you. Repeat for 4 sets of 10 reps.

Gymnastic Ring Oblique Twists
Begin by grasping both rings and getting into a dip position with your knees slightly bent and your body flexed. Simultaneously twist your body as you raise your knees to the side. Keep your abs tight throughout the entire exercise. Return to start position then raise your knees to the other side. Repeat for 3 sets of 8-10 reps per side.

Hanging Leg Raises
Grasp a pull-up bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. From a hanging position, contract your abs as you bring your legs past parallel. Return to start position in a slow and controlled manner without swinging. Repeat for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Tire Sit-Up
Anchor your feet at the bottom of the tire. With your knees slightly bent, lean back until your upper body is parallel with the floor, then contract your core muscles to bring yourself back to the start position. Repeat for 3 sets of 20 reps.

Plank Oblique Crunch
Stack your feet and position your forearm on the floor. Starting with your hips on the floor, contract your obliques to raise your hips off the ground. At this point, your head, hips and feet should all be in the same line. Contract the obliques for a split second, then return to start. Repeat for 3 sets of 20 reps per side.

Standard Crunch
With your knees bent and back flat on a mat, place your fingers behind your ears and flare your elbows out. Curl your torso forward, bringing your shoulder blades off the mat. Squeeze your abs at the top then return to the start position. Repeat for 2 sets of 25 reps.

By Parker Cote