Q

Ab/Core Exercises

How can I get six-pack abs?

A Answers (13)

  • A Fitness, answered on behalf of
    Essentially, getting six-pack abs boils down to progressively overloading the abdominal muscles with a variety of exercises, and monitoring your calorie intake to ensure that you are consuming fewer calories than you are expending throughout the day.  By creating a caloric deficit, the body will be forced to use stored body fat for energy.  Once body fat levels drop significantly, then the abdominal muscles should begin to show, revealing the six-pack that you desire.
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  • To see visible definition in your abs you're first going to want to remove the layer of body fat that covers them. No amount of crunches or sit ups can single handedly accomplish this feat. Your priorities should be on your nutrition, cardio, and resistance training. Sure, ab training is important, but to actually see the results of all those crunches you've got to get rid of the layer of fat that's hiding them.

    A reduced-calorie healthy diet will ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need while maintaining a calorie deficit. Cardio exercise will help burn excess calories, revealing the six pack abs you've worked so hard for. Resistance training will help build lean muscle, which speeds your metabolism even more. With your three main components in place, it's time to build that six pack. Use a variety of movements that will overload the lower and upper abs as well as the obliques.

    A few of my favorite ab exercises are:

    • Bicycle Crunches
    • Hanging Leg Raises
    • Reverse Crunches
    • V-Ups
    • Windshield Wipers
    • Side Lying Crunches
    • Ball Pikes
    • Turkish Get Up

    Ab exercises are important, but only if your entire fitness program is firing on all cylinders!

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  • There are 5 components of fitness, and I will touch on three components that will help you achieve that six pack.

    1. Food intake: In order to lose enough fat on your body to show your inner six pack you need to have a balanced nutrition plan of protiens, carbohydrates, and fats. You do need to be in a coloric deficit but it needs to still be balanced, eating right will increase your motabolism burn more of your stored energy system to show that washboard you want.
    2. Resistance training: Having the right type of work out plan is also key. You need to change your program every 4 to 5 weeks so your body doesn't have enough time to adapt to what your doing. An increase in lean body mass will once again increase your matabolism and burn more calories there for increase your coloric deficet.
    3. Cardio: An essential part of your program. Use the F.I.T.T. principal, frequency, intensity,time, and type. You will want to cycle through both High intensity interval training and low intensity cardio so your body once again wont be able to adapt.
    Using these three components will increase your matabolism and burn more energy, so you can see your inner six pack.
  • Okay, everyone has an abdominal wall loaded with muscles. Developing those muscles is no different to developing other muscles on your body. Showing the work behind your hard work requires a little more work, consistency, and a change in habits. Take note of others who have six packs on display. Do you notice any fat surrounding those muscles? In most cases the answer is no. The key to your change is consuming foods that naturally slow your insulin pump. Naturally slowing your insulin pump with foods triggers the body to use stored fat as a source of alternative energy. This will help the body naturally burn off unwanted fats that’s currently keeping your six-pack in hiding. I have accomplished this myself with a personal weight loss of 78 pounds. Consult with your physician and certified health coach to develop a strategy to make this a reality for you.
  • In order to expose the abdominal muscles underneath you need to focus on aerobic exercise in order to burn away any overlying abdominal fat. Cardio can range from something like speed walking, or jogging, biking or running, depending on your level of physical fitness. My personal cardio activity of choice is jumping rope. It is inexpensive, portable, fun, and delivers a great training effect. Throw in some twisting, kicks, or the like and you have a total body workout. You should plan on doing cardio 4-5 times a week.

    You will not ever be able to see great abs under that layer of fat if you do not incorporate cardio and resistance exercises together in your workout.  Try to do weight training 3-4 times a week to help get rid of body fat and develop the underlying muscles.  Muscle burns calories.  Contrary to popular belief, doing ab exercises do not target the fat around your mid-section.  There is no way to target specific areas of fat.  Your body burns the fat as a whole, not from specific areas.  I'm not saying that ab exercises are bad or that they shouldn't be done.  Doing proper ab exercises will definitely define them.

    However, you must burn the fat that is hiding them.  People mistakenly assume that if they do 100 crunches a day, it will burn it off.  Just like every other muscle in the body, in order for the abdominal muscles to adapt and become more visible, you must overload them.  This means that you are more likely to get that washboard mid-section you so desire by doing fewer reps with some added resistance than if you were to keep doing 100 crunches or more daily.  Aim for 2-3 sets of 15-30 reps of crunch type exercises and also exercises such as the Russian Twist or Side Bend to train the oblique muscles.  Hold a 10 or 25 pound dumbbell to make these more challenging.  When adding external resistance, remember to use caution and maintain perfect technique to prevent injuries.


  • To get six-pack abs, you need a comprehensive weight­loss workout, along with a dedicated abdominal training routine. Here are a few tips on getting it done:
    • Train your abs every other day. Perform a variety of exercises to stimulate your lower back and oblique area. This will condition and shape your entire midsection.
    • Don’t neglect weight training. Cardio (walking, biking or some form of aerobics) and weight training enhance the benefits of the other. You get the best results from doing both.
    • Perform aerobic exercise. You can choose a stationary bike, treadmill or stair­climber, each of which is very effective at burning extra calories and body fat. It’s important to do at least 30 minutes four or five times a week, along with your weight­training program.
    • If possible, perform your aerobics first thing in the morning before your first meal. This allows you to use your own body­fat stores for most of your energy requirements. If that’s not possible, do it immediately after your weight­training routine. If your schedule permits, do aerobics twice a day.
    • Eat smaller meals six times per day. Three healthy meals a day won’t cut it if your goal is to lose fat. More frequent meals stimulate your metabolism to a greater extent, helping you to burn more calories more effectively.
    • Do intervals. Training methodology has changed over the years. Recent studies indicate that exercising at more intense levels for shorter periods of time, like interval training on a treadmill or a quick weight­resistance workout, will actually boost energy levels while burning more fat and calories faster and longer. Sure, moderate walking may increase your metabolism for a few hours, but high­intensity weight training and high­intensity cardio can keep your metabolism revved up for as long as two days.
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  • A , Fitness, answered

    The first thing to understand about human anatomy is that everyone has a six pack. The rectus abdominus is lineated into eight sections. These eight sections while part of one muscle creates the "six pack" look and the great news is we all have this. There are differences of course; with some people we see a clearly defined "six pack" and with others we see a "keg". What is the difference then? Body fat. Body fat for the most part is what covers the abdominals. Fat over lies muscle so excess fat makes the possibility of seeing the abs not possible.

    The second issue is hypertrophy. If you are very lean and still unable to see the rectus abdominus then the issue is muscle development and still possibly too much body fat. Get help developing a fitness program that incorporates fat loss with muscle (abdominal) hypertrophy and you will get to your desired goal. The program I would pursue would fall within NASM's OPT model which incorporates phases of fat loss with muscle strength, stamina, and hypertrophy over a period of time. Find an OPT expert in your area or get your program designed here and get to work. You can get there.

  • This is one of the top questions asked of me in my gym. Even some of my members see this as a myth and could never happen. However getting a six is not an easy task for most people. Sometimes it is not they don't try hard enough by working out their abs but they forget the other two parts which is crucial to seeing that six pack. The main problem is that fat is in the way and we can see our ab muscles. So the two factors you must focus on is cardiovascular training and nutrition. Simply put, if you're not burning enough calories to lose body fat you won't see your abs. If you are eating right to keep that body fat down you won't see your abs. On average guys won't see their ab muscles until they reach about 10% body fat and lower. For women you're looking at about 16% percent or lower. So bottom line train your abs, eat right and improve your cardiovascular training to see those wonderful six pack abs.
  • Nutrition is key!  Eat clean so you can lose some of your body fat.  I see so many people that do tons of abdominal exercises but don't ever seem to have the 6 pack of their dreams.  Try to eliminate white sugar, flour, and alcohol from your diet!  Stick to whole and natural foods!  Lots of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and complex carbohydrates.  Also do cardio first thing in the morning.  And don't forget to strength train your entire body.  Not just your abs!  The leaner you are the more we will be able to see your 6 pack!  3 months until summer!
  • The fact is every single one of us have abs. Abs are a part of our anatomy. Most of us just have a layer or several layers of fat hiding them. To get six-pack abs you need to do two things, build muscle and decrease body fat. Sounds easy enough right?  Perhaps so but developing a great looking six-pack will take time, dedication and patience. You can have the strongest, most toned abs but they will never show if you still have a layer of fat covering them. Here are my three tips to getting six-pack abs.

    • Do cardio for fat loss. The greater the intensity of your cardio workout the more calories you will burn. More calories being burned equals more fat being burned. Work toward doing high intensity interval training alternating high intensity work periods with low to moderate intensity work periods for maximal calorie burn.
    • Strength train your entire body. While core specific exercises are great to help strengthen and tone your abs a good strength training program will include all the major muscle groups of the body. Give yourself a day rest between your ab workouts. The abdominals are a muscle group and need time to recover like any other muscle group.
    • Clean up your diet. Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to six-pack abs is what you put in your mouth. Focus on a healthy well balanced diet, smaller portion sizes and lots of water. There is no room for junk food in a six-pack abs diet.

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    • Essentially, getting six-pack abs boils down to progressively overloading the abdominal muscles with a variety of exercises and monitoring calorie intake to ensure that a deficit has been created. By creating a caloric deficit, the body will be forced to use stored body fat for energy.  Once body fat levels drop significantly, then the abdominal muscles should begin to show, giving you the six-pack that you desire.
      1 person found this helpful.
    • You already have a six pack. You might even have an eight or more pack. The shapes of our tendons around the muscles in our abdomen determine the appearance of our abs. We just happen to store fat over them. What we can do to be able to see those cool looking shapes is eat well and exercise right. Overall, a healthy balanced diet with the proper amounts of food spread throughout the day will get the job done over time. As far as exercise goes we need to perform several different types of exercise to get those coveted abs as fast as possible.

      Stretching, core exercises, strength training and cardio all can help you get that chiseled look when combined with the proper diet. Stretching can loosen up tight muscles that keep our abs from working their best. Core exercises improve the look, health and function of our midsection, especially the abs. Strength training helps to keep our muscle mass and rev up our metabolism. Cardio helps to burn stored calories. Just doing crunches and sit ups will not get the job done. 

      There is no shortcut and if you eat right and follow a complete exercise program over time you will see find what you are looking for. Stay committed and if you get stuck on your meal plan or exercise program it might be a good idea to contact a professional for an individualized program. 
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    • Step one: Get your nutrition right. If six-pack abs are an important goal for you, know that the cleaner and on track your nutrition choices are, the faster your results.
    This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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