If you were wondering how to get a six-pack, you should know right now that you don’t need to take any supplements, nor do you need to change your diet unless you are overweight or on a diet which provides very little protein. The actual purpose of this post is to show you how to get strong abdominals, not how to get a six-pack, but if you work hard on the former, the latter should be accomplished automatically if you have the normal amount of body fat.
The six pack certainly does look cool and attractive but I like to emphasize on the importance of strength rather than appearance. The abs, along with the lower back, hold the upper and lower body together and by training them you will be strengthening your core, and increasing the strength of your entire body. Strong abdominal muscles will help you out with climbing, pushing, grappling and fighting (both in punching and for defense when you get hit in your belly and stomach), and that’s why most martial artists and boxers train their abdominals diligently.
Your abdominal muscles are probably not very muscular, and that’s why you’re reading this post, right? Are you skinny, normal, or fat? If you’re skinny or normal and you don’t have a sixpack then it is because your abdominal muscles are not big enough. If you’re fat, or maybe you’re not but have a lot of belly fat, then your abdominals will not show even if they are strong and big. There are exceptions to this; some bodybuilders have such huge abdominal muscles that they will show even if they have a fat belly, but most of the time fat people don’t have a six pack and if they do, their six pack would look much better when they lose their fat. So, if you are overweight you should start doing cardio exercises and change your diet (reduce food made with flour like bread and pasta) to cut that belly fat. For the strengthening of the abdominal muscles and “acquisition” of the six pack I recommend three simple exercises:
This is the most commonly used exercise when it comes to building abdominals. Just lay down and put your legs under something heavy or have someone hold them. Then all you have to do is lift your upper body up and down with your abdominals, like this:
What you’re seeing above is a straight leg sit-up. Down below is a more popular version with the knees pulled up.
Both have the same effect on your abdominal muscles so choose the one you prefer. If you can do a lot of reps without fatigue then you should take it up a notch by adding weight while doing them. You can perform situps while holding a disc plate, a rock, or while wearing a weighted vest and the exercise will be much more effective then. You can also try doing them upside down:
This is obviously more challenging than the average sit up, and once you master it you can try it while wearing a weight vest or while holding some weights. If you can do that then rest assured that your abdominal muscles are quite strong.
The crunch is also an excellent way to increase your ab strength and get a six pack.
Very similar to the sit up, the crunch utilizes the same posture of the sit up but while doing the crunch you lift your upper body up while your lower back remains on the floor, thereby eliminating the involvement of the body flexors and putting more pressure on the abdominal muscles. So technically, this is the best workout method for the abs but sit ups are easier to perform and that’s why they are more popular.
Here’s how to perform the exercise correctly:
Hanging Leg Raise
The hanging leg raise exercise is also great for building strong abs. The method is simple. Just grab onto a pull up bar and lift your legs up and down until your abs tire out.
Like the other 2 methods, you can make this method more effective by adding weights, this time on your legs, like ankle weights.
If you perform even just one of these exercises regularly and choose a diet which provides a good amount of protein, then you should be able strengthen your abs and get that six-pack very quickly.