How to Get Six-Pack Abs

A “six-pack” of abs is generally regarded as the trademark of fitness. If you have one, then it means you’ve not only got muscles, but you’re in-shape and have shed the excess fat. It is not hard to get a six-pack, but there is also no special trick. Follow this guide, and put some effort into it, and you can get a six-pack by getting rid of the crazybulk that has turned into fat pumpkin and make all the chicks drool over your fabulous frame.

A Brief Look at Diet

Many of those who aspire to have a six-pack forget that diet is nearly as important as exercise. You may very well have a beautiful six-pack already, but if you have ignored your diet you simply won’t see results. Many people have the muscle, but it is covered by a layer of fat. It is impossible to actually target specific areas of fat, so the idea is to lower your overall body fat. There are countless types of diets out there to follow, but a simple thing you can do that will significantly reduce your fat content is to just avoid junk food. Many people drink one or more sodas a day, in addition to cookies or candy. Replace the soda and sugary “juices” with glasses of water, and replace the cookies and candy with a piece of fruit. I hate counting calories, and I’m spared the task just by remembering to do this.

Exercise

Exercise is the heart of obtaining a six-pack. Part of it is focused on actually building the muscle, and the other is focused on cardio-vascular health (which is turn burns fat).

Here is a set of exercises with emphasis on building abdominal muscles, including their variations:

Crunches

Basic Crunch:

Lay down flat on the floor. Pull your knees up so that there is roughly a 90 degree angle between your thighs and your body. Tough the back of your head with your hands (as opposed to holding your head), and then bring “crunch”. Only your upper back will leave the ground, and you will not be moving high off of the ground. You should however feel something in your abs.

Cross Legged Crunches:

A variation on the basic crunch is to cross one leg over the other. That’s to say that after achieving the basic crunch position, simply bring one leg up and cross it against your stationary leg. The ankle of the crossed leg should be right above the bent knee of the other. Be sure to alternate legs.

Side Crunches:

These crunches isolate the obliques (the muscles on the side of your body). Lay down flat. Leaving your upper body in place, bring your legs in and then rotate your hips to the side. In other words, your lower body will be on its side, and your upper body will be in the normal crunch position. Keeping in mind the target muscle group, adjust if necessary. With this exercise in particular, it is best to loosen up and stretch a bit before doing it.

Cardio+Muscle Exercises

These are some exercises that will build up a sweat, but will also build muscle.

Bicycle Crunch

It will take some practice to be able to do this for a sustained amount of time, but it is a great exercise once you can do it well. Lay down flat and bring your knees up. Extend your left leg, and have the foot of the right leg at the extended leg’s knee. Now, begin your crunch, but go to the right. Your left elbow should be pointing towards your bent right knee. This is the starting position. From here, you’ll just be alternative your legs while crunching. The key thing here is to remember to go at a side angle, so as to target your obliques, and to go slowly at first. When doing this exercise you don’t want to move too quickly, as your form will likely suffer. Go slowly until you get a rhythm, and then speed it up to a comfortable pace.

Vertical Crunch

Stand up straight with your hands touching your head. Now simply bring up your left knee, while angling down to the left so that your right elbow points to the left knee. Alternate, and do the exercise at a relatively fast pace. This exercise is not particularly hard on the abdominal muscles, so the focus here is to build up a sweat.

Air Crunch

(I’ll be honest: I did just make up the name for this exercise since I had no idea what it was called) For this exercise, the only part of your body on the ground will be butt. Your body should be in a V-shape, and then you’ll simultaneously crunch while extending and then pulling back your legs. That’s to say that you’ll pull your knees in while crunching, and then you’ll go back to the wide V-shape, and then back to the crunch.

Pure Cardio

In truth, nothing is truly “pure” cardio. You’re always using muscles. However, these are focused on the fat-loss aspect of training as opposed to the muscle building aspect.

Running

It goes without saying that running is the best way to lose fat. Depending on your experience with running and fitness you’ll want to run differently. As a general rule, simply start low and build up. If you’ve never run before, then “1 mile” is a good place to start. Once you can comfortably run 2 or 3 miles, it’s best to start alternating distances so as to not bore yourself, or wear yourself out. (Swimming, biking, and other such activities are alternatives to running. In fact, they may be preferable since they cause minimal problems associated with impact on the hard ground).

Jump Rope

Self explanatory, but one of the best ways to lose fat.

Patrick

Written by 

Patrick is a part-time fitness trainer and pursuing his Master’s in American Literature from Stanford University. He wishes to share his fitness plan with others to help them achieve their goals in terms of fitness and education.