How to Get a Six Pack - Ultimate Abs Guide
Table of Content:
- How to Get Six Pack Abs?
- Exercise Your Abdominal Muscles
- High-Intensity Interval Training
- Applied Interval Training
- Get the Reps and Tempo Right
- Minimize Momentum
- Improve Your Range
- Master the Movements
- EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation)
Are you aiming for a healthy six-pack abs body? Or looking for some motivation to hit up the gym for a set of six-pack abs? Then we have an ultimate guide to your solution.
How to Get Six Pack Abs?
Well, building a set of six-pack abs is no cake walk. You need to put your sweat and soul, literally! Firstly, you need to set major fitness goals and work towards your commitment. Building elusive six-pack abs is not only about following a proper workout or intense training, but there is also more into it.
“Abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen”. You need to follow a strict diet along with your workout plan. Plan and follow a few modifications in your lifestyle and diet. A right diet is a key to getting into a fit shape. For effective and long-lasting results, you need to cut down on junk food and highly processed food. They harm your body and your muscle growth too.
Right diet includes the right quantity of carbs, proteins, fibers and other nutrients that help you build up strong muscles. Do not depend only on supplement pills or high-protein drinks that hinder your process. Instead, focus your time in doing the things that matter.
- Exercise Your Abdominal Muscles:
Here are some six pack abs workouts you can inculcate to exercise your abdominal muscles.
Get yourself on the floor in a prone position. Support your body weight on your forearms and toes. Bend your arms directly below your shoulders. Keeping your body straight, try holding on this position for as long as you can. To increase the difficulty level, you can raise your one arm or leg and change accordingly.
- Bottoms Up:
Take a starting position. For this, lay on your back. Keep your legs straight and arms at your side. Then, tuck your knees towards your chest. Flex your knees and hips. Slowly, extend your legs in a vertical position to the ground. Your legs should reach above you. Pause for a while and then get back to the starting position. Repeat this for building six pack abs.
- Dumbbell V-Sit Cross Jab:
Take your position by sitting on your butt with feet touching the ground and knees bent. Position your upper body forming a 45-degree angle with the floor. Lift your feet off the floor to get your body in a V shape. Take a starting position by grabbing your dumbbell in each hand. Punch simultaneously with your hand moving towards and away from the chest. Return to your original position.
- Decline Reverse Crunch:
For the starting position, lie intact on your back on a decline bench. Hold the bench tightly with both hands. Keep your knees and foot together. Breathe out and roll your pelvis backwards and move your legs towards the torso. Raise your hips off the decline bench. Hold on for a second. Go back to the starting position. Take a deep breath and repeat.
- Spider Crawl:
Get yourself in a prone position. Support your body weight on your toes and hands. Keep your body straight. Bend your arms to 90 degrees. This is your starting position for spider crawl.
To start with the movement, raise one foot off of the ground. Rotate your leg externally. Bring your knee towards the elbow. Come back to the starting position and repeat with the other side.
- Cross-Body Crunch:
Lie on your back, bending your knees about 60 degrees. Place your hands behind your head and touch your feet on the ground. This is your starting position. To start with the movement, bring your right shoulder and elbow across the body. At the same time, lift your left knee inside towards your left shoulder. This gives a crunch in your abdomen. Inhale and exhale repeatedly while coming and going back to your starting position.
- Elbow to Knee:
Take your starting position. Lie on the floor and bend your left knee. Cross your right leg across your left knee. Grasp your hands tightly behind your head. Begin the motion by slowly flexing your spine. To bring your left elbow to the right knee, rotate your torso. Take a brief pause and then return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat the movement.
- Plate Twist:
Take your starting position. Lie on your mat or floor and extend your legs keeping your upper body upright. Grab the plates with both hands slightly bending your arms. Keep your hands in front of the abdominals. Now, cross your legs near the ankles and slowly lift them off the floor. Bend your knees slightly.
To start the movement, move the plate to the right side, touching the floor with it. Breathe out. Return to the starting position. Breathe in and repeat the movement.
Let us check some cardiovascular exercises that boost the body muscles and help in building six pack abs.
Out of all the cardiovascular workouts and exercises, sprinting comes with additional benefits. It helps in building muscle groups to accelerate the building of six-pack abs. Sprinting provides effective results with muscle toning, speed, physique, and fitness. It helps in burning the fat layers which hide the muscles and promote muscle growth.
Rowing is a low impact cardio workout which provides a greater range of muscle pulling and pushing. It builds major muscle groups such as the arms, shoulders, and legs but one at a time. With rowing, you can get both cardio and strength training in one workout. For beginners who are keen on building their six-pack abs, rowing is the best option to burn the calories.
One of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise is swimming. It stimulates the heart rates and is the only exercise that uses all your muscle groups. You can go for regular swimming sessions to relax and build your muscle groups for a great six-pack abs look.
Cycling is the easiest cardio exercise ever. Moreover, it comes with so many benefits. It improves physical and mental health. The resistance element of cycling is that it builds up body muscles and burns fat too. It builds the muscles around the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. The other benefit is that it is low-impact in nature as the risk of injuries is less.
- Jumping Rope:
Jumping rope is a great cardio exercise for all age groups. The standard one of all is the two-foot jump. Start with holding your ropes tightly with your hands and placing them behind the heels. Whip the rope over your head. Use both feet and jump over the rope at the same time. In the beginning, opt for single jumps.
- Stair Climber:
Mostly recommended by health authorities and doctors, stair climbing improves cardiovascular fitness. It boasts great health benefits than jogging. It helps in burning calories and losing extra layers of fats. Just two minutes of stair climbing regularly reduces the risk of heart attack and mortality.
- Running (Moderate Pace):
Running is a great way to improve cardio health. It also helps in burning layers of fat that hide the muscles and build core strength. Running at a moderate pace has physical and mental health benefits. Run on a treadmill in the gym or an open space. It strengthens your body tissues and muscles. Moreover, it opens up the clogged joints accelerating muscle growth.
Beginners can use the elliptical trainer for easing their way into the cardio exercises. It gives you a low-impact workout. It is easier on the hips and knees. Though it is weight bearing, it is vital for building muscles, tissues, and bones. It conditions your lower body and heart and imposes less stress on the joints. If your elliptical trainer has arm handles, then you can go for a full body workout.
- High-Intensity Interval Training:
HIIT is another form of exercise which keeps the rate of burning fats and your heart healthy. You can include this training in your regular exercise routine to boost the intensity of weight loss. You can also get rid of your belly fats if you perform HIIT for about 20 minutes thrice per week. It also helps you tone your muscles and get in shape in an easier way.
- Applied Interval Training:
- Barbell Complexes:
Here are some barbell complex workouts you should perform as a part of HIIT to boost your muscle strength and burn your fats.
- Barbell Squat:
- Push Press:
- Good Morning:
- Romanian Deadlift:
- Bent Over Barbell Row:
- Power Clean:
You can begin with the supporting the barbell on top of traps. Keep your chest up and head in the forward direction. Follow the instructions by your trainer. The goal of barbell squats is to hold your torso upright. Hold it for a while and repeat it for three to four times.
Lift the bar from the floor to your shoulder, keeping your torso erect. Perform the upward and downward movement phase flexing your knees and hips. Keep the tension. Inhale and exhale as you perform the upward and downward movement. You can also perform the alternative. Push press - behind the neck to pump up your shoulders.
Target your hamstring muscles with this powerlifting training workout. Good Morning position begins with holding your barbell across the rear of your shoulders. Step back from the rack. Begin by bending at the hips, moving them back as you bend over to near parallel and reverse the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings.
Romanian Deadlift is another powerlifting workout that targets your hamstring muscle groups. Get to your starting position by holding the barbell at hip level. Bend your knees slightly and keep your shoulders and back arched. Move your butt back and lower the bar. Keep your head ahead; get back to the start and repeat.
Bent over barbell row also called bent over rows or barbell row that targets your middle back muscles. The starting position is similar to the Romanian Deadlift. Keep your torso at rest. Exhale. Keeping your elbows close to your body, hold the weight with your forearms. Squeeze your back muscles as you reach the contracted position. Take a pause. Come back to the start.
Power clean is extremely complex as it includes execution of phases. Perform under the supervision of your trainer. The phases from the starting position are:
- First, pull phase
- Transition or Scoop Phase
- Second pull phase
- Catch Phase and
- Downward Movement Phase
- Strongman Intervals:
- Sled Drag - Harness:
- Yoke Walk:
- Keg Load:
- Log Lift:
Also called Sled pull, this strongman exercise targets quadriceps. It is beneficial for beginners to exercise their whole body as well as abdominal muscles.
Yoke walk is another strongman exercise which targets your quadriceps. You need a Yoke apparatus to perform this. It is also called Fridge Carry.
Keg load is an intermediate level strongman exercise to work on the lower back muscles. You need kegs as weights to load and perform this exercise.
The Crucifix is another intermediate level strongman typed exercise to exercise your lower back muscles.
Log lift, also known as “Log Clean and Press” is a strongman type exercise to work on your shoulder muscles.
- Get the Reps and Tempo Right:
Getting your reps and tempo is an essential part of an exercise. Beginners can perform foundation exercises. Athletes and advanced gym trainees should perform more advanced workouts. Rep ranges depend on the individual’s capabilities to perform high-rep sets. One can start with 2 to 5 rep ranges and can increase the frequency and intensity later.
- Minimize Momentum:
To maximize tension on your abs, you need to minimize the momentum. Focus on getting the starting and ending position right. This becomes progressive as you continue with regular exercising.
- Improve Your Range:
At the initial stages, it becomes tough to focus on ranges of abdominal movement as the muscle groups are underdeveloped. As advised by your gym trainer, start with the basics, rectify any problems and then improve with strategic progression.
- Master the Movements:
For any exercise, progression is always the key. It is better to focus on the positions and movements from the beginning itself. Work on any corrections. This will benefit you when it comes to building your set.
Rest days are critical – both physiological and psychological – from time to time. Rest helps muscles repair, rebuild, and strengthen in due course of time. It also helps sportspersons strike a better balance between their domestic life, work, and fitness. One can perform better with recovery compared to pre-rest stage. Also, neglecting recovery stage can lead to injuries. Here are a few activities which will help you to recover at the earliest.
- TENS Machine:
- Muscle Relaxation, Spasms, and Recovery:
TENS treatment regimens provide you relief from muscle soreness, knots, and muscle pain. It speeds up the recovery and reduces muscle tightness. It confuses the pain signals so that they never reach the brain. Visit a therapist or doctor, and as per their advice, you can combine TENS machine with therapeutic massage. It will help you loosen your tight muscles and spasms, thus providing relaxation to your muscles.
Perform post-workout stretching for a speedy recovery from sore and tight muscles. Stretching might not relieve muscle pain, but it helps you feel better. You can perform these at home, office, or other places to avoid any further muscle pain. Here are some stretchings you can perform:
With these, you can stretch your hamstrings, shoulder muscles, neck, ab muscles, and other tight muscles.
- Upper Trapezius (Neck) Stretch:
- Overhead Triceps and Shoulder Stretch:
- Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch:
- Biceps Stretch:
- Reclined Spinal Twist:
- Chest Stretch:
- Lying Pectoral Stretch:
- Wrist Extension Stretch:
- Wrist Flexion Stretch:
- Child's Pose:
- Swan Stretch:
- Runners Lunge:
- Hamstring Stretch:
EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation)
EMS devices are one of the best devices that help you tone your muscles and strengthen the cores. But, it is a myth that using only EMS will help you building your six-packs. The best way is to use EMS in building strong muscles, and a set of six-pack abs is to go by the traditional way. You can get yourself registered in a gym where they have EMS certified trainers. An EMS certified/professional gym trainer will give you fitness plans that involve EMS, exercises, and diet plans.
Ask your trainer to make you do exercises which involve wearing EMS devices. Perform exercises that activate the entire muscle groups like full abdominal exercises, sit-ups, and the like. This helps you tone your muscles in the right way helping them groom into the biscuit set you desire to achieve. You can also use the EMS device at home if you have its complete knowledge and usage. Doing workout with EMS can surely bring your desired outputs.
After an intense workout and six pack abs training, here are some six pack abs diet you need to add to your diet plan.
- Increase Your Protein Intake:
Increase protein intake in your diet to burn the belly fats, promote weight loss, and accelerate muscle growth.
- Whey Protein:
Whey protein gets absorbed faster than other proteins. Thus, it makes it ideal for fuelling muscle growth before and after an intense workout. Consume whey proteins with carbs to enhance protein synthesis.
- Soy Protein Isolate:
Soy Protein provides additional oxygen to your muscles, giving you enough stamina to do your cardio exercise for a longer time. It is iron-rich saturated fat.
Cod is an animal based protein with low saturated fats. A 300g serving of cod provides your RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) of magnesium. This helps muscles to contract. It also protects against cramps after hard exercise or workout.
Clams provide your RDA of vitamin B12. This gives you energy after an intense workout. It metabolizes proteins, fats, and carbs and keeps your nervous system healthy.
Tofu is a mineral rich food which strengthens bones. It also metabolizes amino acids, carbs, and cholesterol. Eat it with vegetable soup to add extra nutrients to your muscles.
Lamb is a rich source of selenium and zinc. Both these minerals help you build and recover muscles after the workout.
- Chicken Breast:
One large piece of chicken breast contains RDA of niacin. This helps your body in producing energy from all the food you consume. Also, it keeps your digestive system clean and healthy.
- Cut Off Processed Food:
Generally, processed foods contain a high level of sodium, calories, carbs, and fat. And they lack essential nutrients like protein, fiber, essential minerals, and vitamins.
This will help you increase weight loss and reduce your belly fats. Swap them with fresh and healthy food to achieve a set of six-pack abs.
- Reduce Intake of Refined Carbs:
Reducing the intake of refined carbohydrates helps you lose extra fats. This also helps in building a set of six-pack abs.
Refined carbs lose essential fibers, vitamins, and minerals during processing. Thus, the edibles contain low nutritional value. Consuming high refined carbs can cause high blood sugar levels.
- Fill Up On Fiber:
Eating high-fiber foods in your diet can help you increase weight loss. It also increases muscle growth, thus building six-pack abs.
You can add soluble fiber to your diet as it keeps your stomach fuller for longer. High-fiber and high-protein foods prevent weight gain and reduce fat in your body.
- Stay Hydrated:
Consuming plenty of water a day can keep your body and skin healthy. Water keeps your body hydrated after an intensive workout.
It detoxifies your body and regulates body temperature. It also boosts up your metabolism level. It burns your layers of belly fat, making it easier to get six-pack abs. It reduces appetite too.
- Eat Post-Workout Carbs:
Your body loses water and other elements after the workout. Your muscle tissues get worn out, and you may feel dehydrated. To repair and recover your glycogen stores and proteins, eat post-workout carbs. You can eat sweet potatoes, rice, fruits, rice cakes, and other healthy carbs.
- Eat Healthy Fats:
Saturated fats are essential to build muscles and give the body energy. You can eat healthy fats like
- Fatty Fish:
- Whole Eggs:
- Dark Chocolate:
- Fill Up On Fruits and Veggies:
Fresh fruits and veggies are a rich source of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Eat fruits as they make your stomach feel fuller.
You can include fruits in your breakfast and consume them when you feel hungry. You can also drink fresh, natural fruit juices. But, eating whole fruits help you cut calories and provide you with rich essential nutrients.
Building a six-pack is not a midnight miracle; it requires discipline, dedication, and hard work. Do not go the shortcut way. Put your heart and soul in your regular exercises. Sweat hard. Stay hydrated. Avoid junk and processed food. Just make it happen!