Everyone wants a six pack, it does not matter if your skinny or huge, a six pack is and always be impressive. The problem is most people do not know how to get one and end up doing thousands of crunches never to come close to having abs.
To get a six pack abs you need to have a low body fat and you need to have trained your abs hard enough for them to show. In this article I will cover both of the above.
Firstly you will need to lose belly fat. If your carrying too much fat around the midsection then it does not matter how much you exercise your ab muscles you wont see them. If your a man then expect to see your abs at anything under 15% body fat, for women 20% and under. Personally I have to get to 12% before I can see anything. At 10% my abs look rock solid.
To lose weight on your stomach area you are going to have to lose weight all over, because unfortunately you cant burn fat from one area, but that does not matter. Losing weight all over will mean that it wont just be your abs that look impressive, your whole body will look amazing.
Secondly you will need a good routine. With abs more than any other muscle there are so many workout routines out there that promise miracles and fail to deliver. Instead of repeating information I have heard elsewhere I will simply tell you what has worked for me and my may clients I have trained.
To build an impressive six pack you are going to need to build a strong core. So forget sit ups, your going to need to do heavy squats and heavy deadlifts. Squats and deadlifts are going to build your core like no other exercises. You should already be doing these exercises so I wont include them in this routine, if you are not then I highly recommend that you check out the beginner workout routine that I published a while back.
If you add the following ab routine to the beginner workout your body will look like a greek gods in no time at all.
To complete this ab routine you may need the following:
The first exercise you should do is the cable crunch. I love this exercise, because week by week you can add small amounts of weight which means you are progressively overloading your ab muscles which will break them down so that they can repair and grow. You can also target your obliques by twisting your arms to the opposite knee at the bottom of the movement. See the video below for more information.
Hanging Leg Raises.
This exercise is a killer, and you may need the ab slings if your gym does not have them. One thing to keep in mind when doing this exercise is that you do not want to swing. You want to control your legs on the way up and down. When you first start it is very hard. I used to struggle doing 5 good reps. Believe me, this exercise destroys your core muscles.
The final exercise that will turn your stomach from soft to a rock hard masterpiece is the ab wheel. Now most gym gadgets are junk, but this one does work. You could make one out of dumbbells and some weights, but it is cheap so just buy one. The one I use is ab wheel and its lasted me years.
You know the exercises, now lets get down to putting it all together.
Normal crunches to warm up (only do this once)
Cable crunches 10-12 reps (with a weight thats challenging)
hanging leg raises to failure with good form
ab wheel to failure with good form
rest 3 minutes
repeat 3 times and then you are done.
Firstly do some normal crunches, this wont help you build your abs but it will warm them up, you should always warm up to minimise the chance of injury.
Move straight onto the cable crunches without any rest. Pick a weight you can do for 10 reps with good form. Make sure only to use your abs and dont swing to pick up momentum. Build up each week to try to get to 12 good reps, when you can do this add more weight so you can only do 10. rinse and repeat this process as often as you can. Just make sure your being safe and keeping good form. Use your ab slings if you have them and blast out as many good hanging leg raises as possible, then move onto your ab wheel and do as much as possible with good form. Take a 3 minute rest and repeat this routine a further twice.
For optimum results I recommend doing this workout 2/3 times a week either at the end of a workout or on your rest/cardio days.
If you combine the above routine with a good diet then you will see your abs and have a rocking six pack in no time at all. If you have problem dieting, or do not know where to start then you can either check out our diet section or sign up to our email newsletter and I will send you tips and tricks along with a free 50 Fat Loss Tip ebook that will help you get those abs that you desperately want.