Your Guide to the Best Abs Workouts for That Dreamy Six Pack

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A rock solid six pack is like a signifier of all the hard work and dedication you’ve put into sculpting your abdominal muscles. It shows everyone that you’ve been working out, and working hard, to train your body and build a powerful core. Some people think six packs are elusive and exist only on the bodies of action heroes and iron men, too difficult for the everyday person to achieve, but that’s not the kind of mindset we want to cultivate here at Fitstop!

 

While a six pack won’t show up overnight, it can be sculpted over time with the right combination of persistence, ab workouts, and diet. The key is to know the right workouts to strengthen your abs and build a six pack, and the right kinds of food to shed your belly fat and let that six pack shine through.  On top of that, dedication and persistence is the final ingredient that keeps you working hard until you finally achieve those well-defined abs you’ve been waiting for. 

 

Whether you’re a newbie to the fitness world or a seasoned gym junkie who just hasn’t been able to attain that rock solid six pack, this is your guide to the best abs workouts and the right diet for getting that six pack you’ve always wanted.

 

Best abs workout to do at home

 

You don’t have to be hitting the gym everyday to get that dreamy six pack. In fact, you don’t even have to do weight training to see favourable changes in your waist circumference. Research shows that just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise can help you start shedding that belly fat and building your core, and you can do that from the comfort of your own home

 

This abs workout is a great ab exercise to do at home, targeting the different muscle groups around your abdomen to help you sculpt the ultimate six pack. Repeat the workout routine three times to really burn that core and build abs of steel.

 

  1. Lying bicycle crunch: Lie on your back, bend your legs to 90 degrees, and place your hands behind your head for support. Bring opposite elbow to knee, lifting your whole upper body rather than rounding your head as you do this. Repeat this ab exercise 15-20 times.
  2. Pushups: When done right, a pushup activates your ab muscles as well as your whole body. To get that six pack, make sure you have the right form by tensing your body, tilting your pelvis backwards and squeezing your butt muscles. Do 10 sets of pushups.
  3. Side plank: Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder in a 90 degree position. Stack your feet on top of each other, and lift your body up, keeping your hips raised up as high as possible. Doing the side plank on your forearm activates your core muscles more than with an extended arm, helping develop your six pack. Hold for 1 minute.
  4. Superman: Superman had a rock hard six pack, and you can too. Lie on your stomach with arms extended in front. Raise both arms and legs at the same time, hold for two seconds while squeezing your glutes, and come back down again. Repeat 20 times.  
  5. Forearm plank series: Finally, end this at-home ab workout with a series of forearm planks to activate different parts of your ab muscles. Hold each plank for 15 seconds. Start with a normal forearm plank, then lift your right leg, and then left leg. Lift both your right arm and left leg, and then vice versa. Go back to a forearm plank.

 

Feel those abs burning? Great, you’re on the right track. After you’ve completed the routine three times, don’t forget to stop and catch your breath for a moment. If you’re really feeling a burn, start by doing this at-home abs routine every second day before working up to a daily exercise. Injury will only take you further away from that six pack you’ve been looking for.

 

Most effective abs exercises

 

For those of you who have been hitting the gym time and time again but still can’t seem to sculpt that six pack, you may be after some more effective abs exercises. If you’ve got the strength for it, these exercises will work your body harder and burn your core like crazy to help you strengthen those abs faster. 

 

Before you attempt the following exercises, make sure you’ve built up enough body strength to perform them with the correct posture. These ab exercises are harder than the ones in the previous section, which makes them more effective but also more likely to cause injury if not done correctly. Some of these workouts require equipment, so you may have to visit your local gym if you don’t have the tools at home.

 

  1. Arms-High partial sit-up: Lay on your back with knees bent at a right angle. Raise your arms straight above you with fingers pointed. Sit up halfway, then slowly return back to the floor to complete one rep. 
  2. Dip & leg raise combo: Grab onto parallel bars at a dip station and suspend your body upwards. Slightly bend your knees then raise your legs straight, parallel to the floor. Return back to the ground for one rep. 
  3. Flutter kick: Lay on your back in corpse pose. Lift your heels about 10-15 cm off the floor and then quickly kick your feet up and down in successive scissor-like motions. This one burns!
  4. Russian twist, twist: Start in the top position of a sit-up, grab a medicine ball with both hands and hold it out in front of you with arms extended. With gusto, twist your body from one side to the next. 
  5. Barbell sit-ups: Lie on the floor with legs extended straight, holding a barbell over your chest (either empty or lightly loaded). Sit up until your torso is vertical, keeping the barbell over your head like in an overhead press position. 

 

A six pack doesn’t come easy, does it? Whenever you feel like giving up, just remember how good it will feel to have those rock solid abs you’ve always wanted. Strong, aesthetically pleasing, impressive! It’s all worth it in the end. Just make sure to not go too hard and take the time to stretch and restore your muscles in between workouts. Like we said, a six pack isn’t built overnight so don’t try to rush the process.

 

Easy abs exercises for newbies

 

Starting out with a weak core and zero experience with working out? You can still get that six pack, but it’s important to start with easy abs exercises to avoid injury and activate all the right ab muscles. This abs workout might seem too simple at first, but it’s the gateway to performing the more difficult exercises outlined in the previous sections.

 

Perform these easy abs exercises over the course of a few months and you’ll start to notice changes in your core strength and even in your posture. Once you feel ready, you can start attempting the more effective ab exercises to turn your newly found core strength into rock solid abdominals.

 

  1. Deadbug: Lay on your back with knees bent and arms extended up to the ceiling. Flatten your lower back to the floor. Exhale, straighten one leg, and tap your heel to the floor, keeping your lower back pressed to the ground. At the end of your exhalation, return to start and do the next leg. Repeat 2-3 sets of four reps on each leg. 
  2. Bearcrawl: Get into tabletop position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Raise your knees 5-10 cm, staying low and keeping your bum down. Keep pushing your chest away from the floor, raise your head and look ahead. Crawl forwards using opposite arms and legs, moving in all directions. Do 2-5 sets of 30-second crawls.
  3. Hollow-body hold: Lay on your back with arms extended. Lift your arms and legs off the floor, pulling toes towards shins, kneecaps towards hips, and navel to chin. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3-4 times.
  4. Bridge: Lay on your back with knees bent and heels close to your bum. Activate your core and use your feet and knees to lift your hips off the floor. Hold for 1-2 seconds, squeezing in your ab muscles and glutes. Repeat 10-20 times.

 

If you’re starting from scratch, it may feel like a six pack is miles away. But every time you perform the exercises above, you’re building a layer of strength that will contribute towards those abs of steel. You can’t go from zero to hero immediately, but you can work your way up slowly - and trust us, you’ll feel some noticeable changes after doing the above abs routine for a few weeks.

 

How to get abs fast

 

Doing the above abs exercises is one of the roads to getting a six pack, but to increase your chances and get abs fast, you’ll also need to incorporate a few additional routines into your daily lifestyle. Six packs are a sign of strength, but also a sign of good health and a lack of belly fat, so it takes more than a few workouts to sculpt those abs and make them visible. 

 

For some people, it’s more difficult to change their habits than it is to engage in an exercise routine. Those people may be able to build a six pack, but it will take them much longer. If you’re able to start following these lifestyle and diet suggestions, you’ll be on track to get those abs faster.

 

  1. Eat proteins: To burn fat and gain muscle, make sure you eat enough protein. 
  2. After workouts, eat carbs: Don't completely avoid carbs! Foods like sweet potato, oats, and brown rice can help you gain ab muscles, but they're best eaten after an abs workout
  3. Don't skip breakfast: Research shows that men who skip brekkie are 4.5 times more likely to have a big belly, so don't skip breakfast if you want that six pack
  4. Get some sleep: Lack of sleep can disturb your fat cells, so to lose belly fat and show off your ab muscles, you need that shut-eye. 

 

Not too difficult, is it? Try following these diet and lifestyle habits for a few weeks and see if you can notice the difference in your energy levels, fitness, and overall well being.

Final remarks

 

There are so many roads to achieving a perfectly sculpted six pack, but all of them involve a combination of the right exercises and lifestyle routines. You don’t have to commit to doing 100 crunches or holding the plank for half an hour each day, instead, make sure you diversify the ab exercises you do so that you can target the different muscles required to sculpt a six pack. 

 

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get a six pack is just focusing on strengthening their abs and forgetting that shedding your belly fat is a part of what makes those abs visible. Follow the right diet, experiment to find the right combination of abs exercises, and start strengthening that core!


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Written by

Anthony Stehbens

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